International Organizations: United Nations Environmental Program

Mission & Focus: The mission of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) is, to offer leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.  UNEP advocates, educates, and supports the wise use of the natural resources found on Earth for sustainable development.

What UNEP Does: UNEP is composed of eight divisions that promote and facilitate sound environmental management for sustainable development.  These divisions are: early warning assessment, policy development and law, environmental policy and implementation, technology, industry and economics, regional cooperation, environmental conventions, communications and public information, and global environment facility coordination.  Part of UNEP’s job is to assess global and national environmental conditions/trends; based upon these findings they develop national agreements and national environmental instruments.  UNEP teaches organizations and governments about environmental protection and ways in which to manage a healthy environment.

History: UNEP was established in 1972, by the UN General assembly, to act as the voice for the environment within the United Nations system.  Since its installation UNEP has implemented many Action programs to protect the environment.  Some of these are the OzoneAction program (which is helping to restore the ozone layer by phasing out ozone-depleting substances) and the Great Apes Survival Project (which garnered political support for the gorilla species and their forest habitats).

Who UNEP Collaborates With: UNEP works with many United Nations, international, national, and non-governmental organizations, as well as, those in the business, industry, and media to accomplish their goal.  UNEP also supports a large network of centers of excellence, such as, the International Environmental Technology Center and Global Resource Information Database Center.

How UNEP is Funded: UNEP relies heavily on funding from governments.  Over 30 countries currently contribute monetary support.  UNEP has also created partnership agreements with developing countries in order to increase funding.  Financial assistance from these governments is voluntary and is put into the Environment Fund.  For the past five years, contributions to this fund have been growing by 9% annually.

University of Hawaii at Manoa; Center of Excellence in DMHA; ICRC

Contact Information

Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2424 Maile Way, Saunders Hall 118
Honolulu, HI 96822