United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
About UNEP in Asia Pacific:
In the Asia-Pacific region, UNEP operates through its Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific and works in 41 countries in the region. UNEP works with governments, local authorities, civil society, other UN entities, regional and international institutions, as well as the private sector to develop and implement cleaner and safer policies and strategies which catalyse efficient use of the region’s natural assets and reduces degradation of the environment and risks to both humans and the environment.
Fostering Dialogue and Partnerships for Sound Environmental Management
Work is focused on UNEP’s six cross-cutting thematic priorities:
- Climate change
- Disasters and conflicts
- Ecosystem management
- Environmental governance
- Noxious substances and hazardous waste
- Resource efficiency – sustainable consumption and production
- Environment Under Review
At the regional level, UNEP supports the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development, held every five years. This is a collaborative effort between the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Asian Development Bank and UNEP.
UNEP established the Sub-regional Environmental Policy Dialogue (SEPD), which meets annually to discuss emerging issues and provide guidance to UNEP’s programmes in the region. In particular, it helps UNEP identify emerging environmental issues at the regional level.
In the Pacific :
UNEP works closely with SPREP (Pacific Regional Environment Programme) located in Samoa.
On 2 September 2014, the Prime Minister of Samoa and the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) inaugurated the new UNEP Sub-regional Office for the Pacific located in Apia, Samoa and signed the agreement with the host country.
The Prime Minister of Samoa declared: “It is the recognition by the international community and the United Nations General Assembly to better identify the needs and the realities of the Pacific region and to work directly on the field.”
The creation of this new office is one of the results from the decisions made by the member countries during the 2012 United Nations Conference on sustainable development Rio+ 20. It highlights the willingness to strengthen the role of the United Nations Environment Programme as a Global Environment Authority.
The creation of this office for the Pacific will enable the UNEP to reinforce its regional presence, in order to assist countries in implementing their national environmental policies as was requested in the Rio final document. It will allow UNEP to develop important projects in the Pacific, in particular for the work carried out on ozone depleting substances and on marine and coastal management, invasive species, and waste management funded by the GEF.
The opening of the UNEP Office for the Pacific comes at a crucial moment for Pacific countries at a time when they are faced with the multiple challenges posed by climate change and the rising sea level and which corresponds to the end of their national efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goal
The Office will be adapted to support Pacific countries for the post-2015 period and the implementation of the sustainable development goals, as well as to contribute to the operationalisation of the Ministers’ decisions during the United Nations Environment Assembly on essential issues such as chemical and waste and sustainable consumption and production.
The location of the Office within the SPREP premises will enable UNEP to capitalise on SPREP’s large expertise and networks to address Pacific countries’ needs.
Homepage UNEP ROAP: http://www.unep.org/roap/
The Global Environment Fund:
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) brings together 182 countries -in partnership with international institutions, non-governmental organisations and the private sector- to address global environmental issues. As an independent financial body, the GEF grants funding to developing countries and to transition countries for projects relating to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, ozone layer and persistent organic pollutants.
These projects benefit the environment at the global scale. They are the common feature of environmental challenges at the local, national and global scales, and foster the adoption of viable livelihoods. Created in 1991, the GEF is currently the main financial source for projects focusing on improving the Planet’s environmental state. It provided assistance to the tune of 8.6 billion dollars using its own funds and mobilised more than 36.1 billion dollars to co-finance and support more than 2,400 projects in more than 165 developing or transition countries.
As part of its Small Grants Programme (SGP), the GEF has directly provided more than 10,000 grants to non-governmental organisations and to community based organisations.
The GEF is a partnership which brings together ten organisations: the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, the World Bank, the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, the African Development Bank, the Asia Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) provides technical and scientific advice on the GEF’s policies and projects. The GEF also serves as a financial mechanism for the following conventions:
- Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB)
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
- Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP)
- United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
- Although it is not officially bound by the Montreal Protocol relating to ozone depleting substances, the GEF bases its implementation in transition countries.
GEF website: http://www.thegef.org/gef/home