United Nations Environment Programme commonly known as UNEP is the United Nations agency that is responsible for coordinating environmental activities and helping developing countries in sound environmental practices and policies implementation. It was founded in June 1972 after a conference of the United Nations on human environments. The headquarters of UNEP is Gigiri near Nairobi, Kenya. It has six other regional offices.
Activities of the United Nations Environmental Programme cover different issues including terrestrial and marine ecosystems, the atmosphere, green economy and environmental governance. UNEP has played a very important role in the development of international conventions on environment, environmental science promotion as well as illustrating how the science can be implemented and information be shared.
The agency works with environmental policy makers, regional institutions, national governments and non-governmental organization that are associated with environmental matters in implementing environmental policies. It has also funded and implemented several environment-related projects.
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Over the years, this agency has helped in treaties and guidelines formulation on different environmental issues. Such issues include international trade on chemicals that are potentially harmful, pollution of trans-boundary air as well as international waterways contamination. Globally, UNEP is a catalyst, educator, advocate and facilitator of wise and sustainable use and development of the environment.
The mission of this agency is to offer leadership while encouraging partnership in environmental conservation, inspire, inform and enable nations and individuals to improve living standards without compromising the quality of life of the future generation. The agency is mandated to act as a global environmental authority that sets agendas while promoting coherent implementation of sustainable development dimensions within the system of the United Nations and thus, serve as the authoritative advocate of sustainable global environment.
Among the mandated work of UNEP include assessing national, regional and global environmental trends and conditions. It also participates in the development of national and international environmental instruments. United Nations Environment Programme also strengthens institutions to develop wise strategies for managing the environment.
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UNEP publishes atlases, newsletters and reports on environmental issues. For instance, in 2012, UNEP published a report declaring that, to avoid global hunger, climate change and fuel shortage, the world must shift to vegan diet. Fifth Global Environment Outlook was also another report by the UNEP that provided a comprehensive assessment of human well-being, development, analysis and the information that policy makers need to consider. The report noted that human population is larger than the available resources for sustaining it.
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