Introduction to UNEP and role in the region



For policymakers to be equipped with the most pertinent information and know that agreements can be made without leaving any country behind, a neutral authority on the environment is needed. In order for countries to ensure that efforts in one policy area link coherently to others and contribute towards the Sustainable Development Goals efficiently, an organisation with global reach is needed. This is the role the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) seeks to play.

UNEP is the voice and conscience on the environment. Our two core tasks are to empower policymakers with the information and tools for protecting the environment and ensuring sustainable development, and to flag up any upcoming trends that could threaten it.

In practice, this means advising and steering countries, the private sector and civil society on their paths to a green and inclusive economy, such as by fostering renewable energy technologies or promoting sustainable transport for example, and by sharing experiences and best practices on a range of topics such as sustainable agriculture and sustainable consumption and production.

We do so with nine Major Groups and Stakeholders – including women, farmers, business and industry and non-governmental organisations - to ensure that agreements, studies and tools for sustainable development take their views into account and that benefits are spread.

In the pan-European region, environmental challenges range from cross-border management of common environmental resources such as the Caspian Sea, boosting resource-efficiency in cities and the impact of climate change in the Carpathian Mountains.

We address these by working on seven priority work areas: Climate Change, Disasters and Conflicts, Ecosystems Management, Environmental Governance, Chemicals and Waste, Resource Efficiency, and Environment Under Review.

This pamphlet contains a snapshot into each of our work areas through the eyes of our partners and beneficiaries, relaying outcomes from where they matter most.

Our results so far have come to fruition thanks to our partners from all sectors. We count on you more than ever to secure a better quality of life for countries and people, both for today and in the future. We hope that these insights will inspire you to work with us and we encourage you to read more on our new website, revealing more and keeping you up-to-date with stories.

As shown by the Sustainable Development Goals, the environment is starting to take a central role across all decision-making. We are seeing that Green Economies trump the business-as-usual. With our partners, we look forward to continuing to improve standards of living today without compromising that of future generations.

Jan Dusík

Director and Regional Representative, Regional Office for Europe, United Nations Environment Programme