UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

Founding Year: 1972

Staff: 2380

Budget: 425m

Inger Andersen (Executive Director)

It sets the global environmental agenda, promoting the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system. It aims “to provide 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.” It sponsors the Green Economy Initiative, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, World Environment Day, and the UN Environment Assembly. The inaugural UNEA in March 2014 had over 1200 participants, 170 national delegations, 112 delegations headed at minister level and 40 events during the five-day event at UNEP’s Headquarters in Nairobi.


  • Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA)
  • Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI)
  • Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE)
  • Regional Cooperation (DRC)

Focus areas:


  • News & Stories
  • Knowledge Repository
  • Project Data
  • Science & Data
  • Annual Report
  • An extensive library of 6000+ annual reports, assessments, case studies, fact sheets, policy and strategy papers, reports, etc.
    • Global Assessment of Soil Pollution (June 2021, 846p) – This report “considers both point source contamination and diffuse pollution and details also the risks and impacts of soil pollution on human health, the environment and food security, without neglecting soil degradation and the burden of disease resulting from exposure to polluted soil.”
    • Sixth Global Environment Outlook (March 2019, 745p; 28p summary in six languages) – A series of flagship reports.  First published in 1997, this 6th report (GEO6), with the theme of “Healthy Planet, Healthy People,” covers climate change as a priority issue, the growing chasm between rich and poor countries, declining genetic diversity as a threat to food security and ecosystem resilience, rising sea levels and ocean temperatures, ocean acidification, water quality “worsened significantly since 1990” in most regions due to organic and chemical pollution, governance challenges, biodiversity (“a major species extinction event is unfolding”), land and soil, resources and materials, effectiveness of environmental policies, the need for transformative change, innovations for systemic transformation, trends in target achievement for selected Sustainable Development Goals, and benefits from following sustainable future pathways: human health and well-being, prosperity, and resilient societies.


S.No. Title Organization Publication Date Page Number Report Link Download

Spreading like Wildfire: The Rising Threat of Extraordinary Landscape Fires

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) February 23, 2022 126 Link Download

Beating the Heat: A Sustainable Cooling Handbook for Cities

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) November 3, 2021 208 Link Download

2022 Global Status Report for Buildings and Construction

Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction November 9, 2022 101 Link Download

Global Cooling Watch 2023

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) December 5, 2023 121 Link Download

State of Finance for Nature 2023

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) December 9, 2023 105 Link Download

Adaptation Gap Report 2023

UNEP November 2, 2023 112 Link Download

Emissions Gap Report 2023

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) November 20, 2023 108 Link Download

Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2020

UNEP, BNEF June 10, 2020 80 Link Download

Global Environment Outlook Report 2019

UNEP 708 Link Download

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
    Calls for an end to poverty globally by 2030 and promotes increased access to basic services and social protection.
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  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    Aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
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  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
    Aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, by reducing mortality rates and increasing access to equitable health care for men and women.
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  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
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  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    Aims to end gender discrimination in all forms and promote equal opportunity for all women and girls in terms of education, career, and sexual/reproductive rights.
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  • SDG 6 -Clean Water and Sanitisation
    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by promoting global access to adequate sanitation and hygiene.
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  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by promoting affordable and reliable energy sources.
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  • SDG 8 -Decent Work and Economic Growth
    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
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  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.  
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  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    Aims to achieve economic growth by reducing inequalities regarding social, economic and political opportunities and freedoms.
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  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    Aims to promote the globalization of sustainable cities and communities in turn providing universal safe and affordable housing.
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  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
    Aims to create responsible and sustainable practices involving consumption and production through efficiently using natural resources.
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  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    Calls to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts through global awareness, education, and integration into government policies.
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  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
    Calls to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development and prevent and reduce marine pollution in order to protect ecosystems and achieve healthy oceans.
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  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
    Aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
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  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
    Aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Calls to reduce all forms of violence and deaths related to violence and to end abuse and exploitation
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  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
    Aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development by mobilizing domestic resources in order to provide support for developing countries.
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