UNEP celebrates 50 years
- May 9, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
UNEP celebrates 50 years
Context: UNEP celebrates 50 years of solving the world’s environmental challenges.
As the leading global environmental authority, UNEP administers, or provides secretariat functions for, 15 multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
In 1972, the UNGA passed what is formally known as UN-Resolution 2997.It would be the last step in the establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) – an organisation conceived to spearhead a global effort to minimise humanity’s footprint on the planet.
- UNEP is an agency of the United Nations.
- Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya.
- Governing Body: UNEA (formed in 2012) – meets once in two years.
- It has overall responsibility for environmental problems among United Nations agencies.
- Addressing climate change or combating desertification, are overseen by other UN organisations, like the UNFCCC and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification.
- Major Functions: It hosts various Conventions like
- Minamata Convention,
- Basel Convention,
- Stockholm Convention,
- Rotterdam Convention,
- Montreal Protocol,
- Vienna Convention,
- CMS, Carpathian,
- Tehran Convention.
- Main activities: are related to Climate Change, Disasters and Conflicts, Ecosystem management, Environmental Governance, Chemicals and waste, Resource Efficiency.
- UNEP’s activities cover a wide range of issues regarding the atmosphere, marine and terrestrial ecosystems, environmental governance and green economy.
- It is also a member of the United Nations Development Group.
- Important Treaties signed under UNEP:
- IPCC, (The World Meteorological Organisation and UN Environment established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988.)
- Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS),
- UN Environment is also one of several Implementing Agencies for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol.
- In 2021, member states approved UNEP’s new Medium-Term Strategy (MTS) for 2022- 25 that outlines UNEP’s contribution to the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ and the Programme for Work 2022-23.
- Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) was initiated in 2021 by Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland and comprises 21 countries that assess the performance (2016-20)of the major multilateral organisations they fund.
Important Initiatives undertaken by UNEP so far:
- Regional Seas Programme, 1974
- Clean up the world Campaign, 1993
- TUNZA, 2003
- Billion Tree Campaign, 2006
- Faith for Earth Initiative, 2008
- World Environment Day (June 5th)
- Earth Hour
- Not all animals migrate by choice campaign, 2019
Reports of UNEP:
- Emission Gap Report
- Adaptation Gap Report
- Global Environment Outlook
- Invest in a Healthy Planet
UNEP administers, or provides secretariat functions for, multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and other entities as follows:
- Global MEAs:
- Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
- Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS)
- Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal
- Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
- Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
- Minamata Convention on Mercury
- Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer
- Bamako Convention on the Ban of the Import into Africa and the Control of Transboundary Movement and Management of Hazardous Wastes within Africa
- Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians (Carpathian Convention)
- Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans
- Convention for Cooperation in the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Atlantic Coast of the West, Central and Southern African Region (Abidjan Convention)
- Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention)
- Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention)
- Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Western Indian Ocean (Nairobi Convention)
- Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea (Tehran Convention)
- Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA)
- Northwest Pacific Action Plan (NOWPAP)
- Other entities
- Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – hosted jointly by UNEP and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO)
- United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR)
United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA)
- The UNEP’s governing body is called the United Nations Environment Assembly, which is said to be the world’s highest decision making body on the environment.
- It meets once in two years to establish priorities for international environmental policies and develop international environmental law.
- Formed in 2012, it is headed by a Bureau and its President.
- The Bureau comprises ten environment ministers of various countries who all hold two-year terms, based on geographical rotation.
- Currently, it has 193 member states (all UN member countries).