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global environment  UNEP ON THE GROUND
UNEP renews commitment with GRID-Arendal

On 14 August, UNEP and its collaborating centre GRID-Arendal signed a new Framework Agreement through which the Norwegian foundation agreed to renew its cooperation with UNEP on projects ranging from the polar regions to the marine environment.

The new agreement, which came as GRID-Arendal celebrated its 25th anniversary, was signed by UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and Olav Orheim, Chairman of the Board of Directors of GRID-Arendal. The signing ceremony was back to back with a number of workshops, seminars and report launches, which were held to celebrate the milestone anniversary.

"GRID-Arendal has been, and continues to be, a staunch partner to UNEP and a great defender of the environment," said Mr Steiner.

"From its unique knowledge of polar issues, to its Rapid Assessment Reports, which compile data on some of the planet's most urgent problems, to its capacity to contribute to addressing issues such as ocean conservation and a transition to a Green Economy, GRID-Arendal's work represents a major contribution to tackling the world's environmental challenges," he added.

"The cooperation between UNEP and GRID-Arendal has matured greatly since its establishment 25 years ago," said Mr Orheim. "This new agreement underscores the value of this cooperation. For GRID-Arendal, it is particularly important that UNEP recognizes GRID-Arendal's contribution in the area of the polar regions, the marine environment, communications and outreach, environmental assessments and capacity building in developing states."

"We are proud that both UNEP and the Government of Norway regard GRID-Arendal as an effective organization that supports the UN system through its environment programme, UNEP," said Peter Prokosch, Managing Director of GRID-Arendal.

Also present at the signing ceremony were Tine Sundtoft, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Øystein Djupedal, Aust-Agder County Governor, and Einar Halvorsen, Mayor of Arendal.

GRID-Arendal was established in 1989 by the Norwegian Ministry of Environment and UNEP in response to the recommendations of the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. With continued support from Norway, the foundation underscores the Norwegian government's commitment to the global environment, and complements the country's direct support to UNEP.

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