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UNEP Priorities

Drawing upon the scientific evidence, priorities emerging from global and regional fora, and an assessment of where UNEP can make a transformative difference, UNEP’s work focuses on 7 cross-cutting thematic priorities, thematic priorities as embedded in the current Medium Term Strategy 2014-2017.

Climate Change

Strengthen the ability of countries, in particular developing countries, to integrate climate change responses into national development processes.

Disasters and Conflicts

Minimize threats to human well-being from the environmental causes and consequences of existing and potential natural and man-made disasters.

Ecosystem Management

Ensure that countries use the ecosystem approach: the holistic management of land, water and living resources to promote conservation and sustainable use to enhance human well-being.

Environmental Governance

Ensure that environmental governance and interactions at the country, regional and global levels are strengthened to address environmental priorities.

Harmful Substances

Minimize the impact of harmful substances and hazardous waste on the environment and people.

Resource Efficiency

Fostering sustainable consumption and production by leading global efforts to ensure natural resources are produced, processed and consumed in a more sustainable way.

Environment Under Review

Providing open web platforms, services and access to timely, substantiated knowledge about the environment and emerging issues to allow for informed decision-making.


In addition to its programmatic priorities, UNEP continues to focus on the Green Economy as well as contributing to the environmental dimension of the post-2015 agenda and development of sustainable development goals following the outcomes of the Rio+20 conference.

Green Economy
Resource EfficiencyUNEP is a leading proponent of the Green Economy Initiative (GEI) designed to assist governments in “greening” their economies by reshaping and refocusing policies, investments and spending towards a range of sectors, such as clean technologies, renewable energies, water services, green transportation, waste management, green buildings and sustainable agriculture and forests.[ Website ]
UNEP and Millennium Development Goals
MDGsUNEP supports assessments of environmental conditions and trends including building the capacity of its many partners to generate the information necessary for sound environmental decision making to support sustainable development and the achievement of the Millennium Goals. MDG7 is of direct relevance to most of the work that is being undertaken by UNEP under the organisation's slogan "Environment for Development"...MORE
Rio+20World leaders at the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) reaffirmed their commitment to sustainable development which embraces economic progress, social development, and environmental protection for the benefit of all. Key outcomes included the strengthening and upgrading of UNEP and the development of Sustainable Develoment Goals. [ Website ]
UNEP and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
UNEP is preparing a series of discussion papers in consultation with diverse stakeholders, to contribute to ongoing efforts to strengthen integrated implementation of the three dimensions of sustainable development. This work is also relevant to ongoing intergovernmental processes on the post-2015 agenda and sustainable development goals (SDGs)... MORE
UNEP joins transparency initiative
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is pleased to announce its membership on the steering committee of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and its intent to publish its data. The organisation joins over 390 civil society organisations, governments, multilateral organisations, and fellow United Nations agencies who are already publishing information.... MORE