German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN)


Profile: UNEP

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
founded in 1972


The UNEP Governing Council is made up of 58 UN members, each elected for four years by the General Assembly. These 58 seats are distributed as follows: 16 seats for African states, 13 seats for Asian states, 10 seats for Latin American and Carribean states, 6 seats for Eastern European states, and 13 seats for Western European and other states.


UNEP is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.

UNEP's responsibilities include:

  • Monitoring the status of the global environment and gathering and disseminating environmental information
  • Facilitating the coordination of UN activities on matters concerned with the environment
  • Developing regional programmes for environmental sustainability
  • Helping, upon request, environment ministries and other environmental authorities, in particular in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, to formulate and implement environmental policies
  • Helping to develop international environmental law


To advance its aims, UNEP works with other UN entities, international organisations, national governments, the private sector and civil society. UNEP’s work is coordinated by the office of the Executive Director.

UNEP is funded through the UNEP Environment Fund (from member state contributions), the regular UN budget and various trusts.

UNEP’s work to promote and facilitate sound environmental management for sustainable development is implemented by eight divisions:

  • Early Warning and Assessment
  • Policy Development and Law
  • Environmental Policy Implementation
  • Technology, Industry and Economics
  • Regional Cooperation
  • Environmental Conventions
  • Communications and Public Information
  • Global Environment Facility (GEF) Coordination.


UNEP Headquaters
P.O. Box 30552
Nairobi 00100, Kenia
Tel.: +245 20 7621 234
Fax: +254 20 7624489/90

Further information

UNEP website


Last Change: 01/06/2012