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This World Wildlife Day, let’s celebrate the power of youth voices!

World Wildlife Day on 3 March 2017 is a chance for young people to make their voices heard on the kind of world they want, and need, to inherit from their parents.

Humans are forever learning about nature and from nature. Perhaps that’s because they are part of nature and depend on nature’s ecosystems for their survival.

Look after nature, so it can look after you

Whether an afternoon at the beach, an exhilarating weekend in the mountains or just a walk in the park after a hard day, millions of people around the world know how getting out into more natural surroundings makes you feel better.

Economist Kenneth Arrow still influences UN Environment’s work

Prof Kenneth Joseph Arrow, who died on 21 February at the age of 95, was a well-known economist and polymath. He was the youngest economist to win the Nobel Prize in 1972, together with John Hicks.

Arrow‘s doctoral thesis published in 1951 changed the character and outlook of economics.

His work on voting behaviour, social choice theory, information economics, risk and uncertainty greatly influenced thinking on climate change and natural capital  measurement.

UN Declares War on Ocean Plastic

February 23, 2017 – UN Environment launched today an unprecedented global campaign to eliminate major sources of marine litter: microplastics in cosmetics and the excessive, wasteful usage of single-use plastic by the year 2022.

Top marks for ecosystems course

The first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to focus on the ecosystem approach and systems thinking, which ran for several months at the end of 2016, was a great success, according to UN Environment’s final evaluation report.

We Must Raise our Voices to Save the Pangolin

Ian Somerhalder, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador

What is a pangolin? You probably have no idea, and I can understand why. This small mammal is shy and only moves around at night. Hardly a zoo has been able to keep one alive. And yet it sits above the elephant and rhino as the most illegally trafficked animal in the world.

Live-tracking progress towards global goals now possible thanks to a cutting-edge UN knowledge platform

February 16, 2017 – Environment Live, the dynamic UN knowledge platform, designed to collect, process and share the world's best environmental science and research, has introduced new tools to review progress towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Built and maintained by UN Environment, the platform provides real-time open data access to policy makers and the general public, using distributed networks, cloud computing, big data and improved search functions.

UN Environment launches 2016 Annual Report online

UN Environment today launched its online Annual Report and Programme Performance Report for 2016. The report describes the organization’s accomplishments for the year, highlighting successes and detailing performance against targets.

New Regional Representative Elected for North America

February 15, 2017 – Michelle Wyman of the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) has been elected as one of the two Regional Major Groups and Stakeholder Representatives to UN Environment, North America Office. Kristan Uhlenbrock of the US Climate Variability and Predictability Program (US CLIVAR) will serve as alternative.

Winners of the Make #NotWasting Food a Way of Life video contest announced

February 1, 2017 - The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) and the UN Environment North America Office have recognized entrants from across North America who demonstrated innovative, impactful and effective approaches to reducing food waste and loss:



UNEP-INTERPOL Report: Value of Environmental Crime up 26%

Nairobi, 4 June 2016 - The value of environmental crime is 26 per cent larger than previous estimates, at $91-258 billion today compared to $70-213 billion in 2014, according to a rapid response report published today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL.

The marine environment is an essential component of the global life-support system

Oceans cover 71 per cent of the Earth’s surface and provide us with food, oxygen and jobs. But they are probably the least understood, most biologically diverse, and most undervalued of all ecosystems.

Stand with the United Nations and Angola, Global Host for World Environment Day 2016, by pledging your support and joining the global fight against the illegal trade in wildlife

On 5 June 2016, people from across the globe will celebrate World Environment Day (WED) by taking part in environmental action and becoming agents of change for positive impacts on the planet.

At UN Environment Assembly Convening in Nairobi: Governments Agree to 25 Landmark Resolutions to Drive Sustainability Agenda and Paris Climate Agreement

Nairobi, 27 May 2016 - The world's environment ministers, gathered at the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) in Nairobi on late Friday, passed far reaching decisions on issues such as marine litter, the illegal trade in wildlife, air pollution, chemicals and waste, and sustainable consumption and production - which are an integral part of the global action needed to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement.

Backed by Stars, Unprecedented UN Campaign Seeks to Mobilize Millions to End Illegal Trade in Wildlife

Nairobi, Wednesday, 25 May 2016 - The United Nations, backed by A-list celebrities from across the globe, today launched an unprecedented campaign against the illegal trade in wildlife, which is pushing species to the brink of extinction, robbing countries of their natural heritage and profiting international criminal networks.

As Air Pollution Levels Rise by 8%, Action on Renewables, Clean Cook Stoves Bring Hope of Tackling Public Health Emergency

Nairobi, 24 May 2016 - As global air quality declines, threatening to add to the seven million people air pollution kills each year, action in some air quality areas points to political will to tackle this "global public health emergency" although current efforts still fall short, according to reports released today at the second United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2). 



Abu Dhabi, 6 October 2015 - The second Eye on Earth Summit opened in Abu Dhabi today, with leaders of the Summit Alliance partner organisations highlighting the critical role the movement is playing in promoting dialogue and driving international action to help overcome the challenges associated with data to support informed decision-making for sustainable development.

Nairobi, 6 October 2015 - A free online course aimed at increasing awareness of, and stimulating creative solutions to marine litter has opened for registration. The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will begin on 26 October, 2015.

Washington, DC 1 October – The Environmental Law Institute (ELI), the School of International Service at American University (AU), and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) announce that Liz Alden Wily will deliver the Third Al-Moumin Distinguished Lecture on Environmental Peacebuilding.  Her lecture will address “Communities & the State: Getting the Property Relationship Right for a Safer 21st Century.”

New York, 25 September 2015 - UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner issued the following statement following the historic adoption of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and 17 Global Goals by 193 UN Member States, designed to put the world on a pathway to sustainability.

New York, 27 September 2015 – Five inspirational environmental leaders from the worlds of government, business, research and grassroots activism on Sunday received the UN’s highest environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth Award, at a ceremony marking the close of the Sustainable Development Goals summit.

Watch the 2015 Champions of the Earth Award Ceremony, live from New York at

From resource scarcity and climate change to food insecurity and inequity, it is clear we need radical change in our societies to build a future that is sustainable and equitable. To bring about this change the entire United Nations must meet the challenge of delivering sustainable development and shared prosperity for all within the ecological limits of the planet.

Earth Day Network and Rovio Entertainment have released Angry Birds Champions for Earth, a week-long global tournament that challenges players to learn about the climate crisis and what they can do to solve it. The game is available for download in five languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Korean.

Berkeley, C.A., 10 September 2015 – The 2015 annual International Children's Painting Competition theme for 2015 "We have the power," in support of the UN decade of Sustainable Energy for All, inspired young talented artists aged 9 to 14 from around the world to submit paintings that depict our energy future.  The winner for the North American region, which encompasses both Canada and the United States, is Gloria Yang, 14, from Fremont, California.  He


2014 News

Fast-Tracking Elimination of Production of Remaining Ozone-Depleting Substances Could Speed Up Ozone Layer Recovery by 11 Years

Nairobi, 19 December 2014 - The recovery of the ozone layer - the shield that protects life on Earth from harmful levels of ultraviolet rays - would come sooner if we were to fast-track the elimination of the production of the ozone-depleting substance (ODS) hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and manage other ODSs that remain in equipment, building walls and chemical stockpiles, according to the full release of a report by nearly 300 scientists from 36 countries.

New Report Makes Strong Business Case for Using Safer Chemicals in Products and Supply Chains

Geneva, 15 December 2014 - Chemicals are all around us, present in the products we use every day.The demand for increased transparency on chemicals up and down the supply chain is growing - we need to understand how and with what chemicals we are interacting. Consumers, retailers and brands all want to know more, driving companies to disclose information about the hazardous chemicals in their products and to make safer choices.

World on Track to New Universal Climate Agreement with Lima Call for Climate Action

Lima, 14 December 2014 - A new 2015 agreement on climate change, that will harness action by all nations, took a further important step forward in Lima following two weeks of negotiations by over 190 countries.

Nations concluded by elaborating the elements of the new agreement, scheduled to be agreed in Paris in late 2015, while also agreeing the ground rules on how all countries can submit contributions to the new agreement during the first quarter of next year.

UNEP Launches Wastewater Video in the Series Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey

Washington, D.C., 9 December 2014 - The United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for North America (UNEP RONA), UNEP Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI) and nationally-syndicated cartoonist Jim Toomey announced today the release of the video "Wastewater: A widespread threat and missed resource," which portrays the impacts of wastewater on coastal communities and ecosystems, and the benefits of improving its management. This new video is part of a series of innovative ocean awareness videos titled Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey.

Full Economic Potential of Carbon-Rich Mangroves Remains Untapped

Lima, December 9, 2014 - The economic and social benefits of mangroves - which are estimated to run into the hundreds of billions worldwide - remain largely untapped due to a lack of carbon finance mechanisms, appropriate policy interventions, and rapid mangrove deforestation, according to a new United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report launched today at the 20th Conference of the Parties on Climate Change.

Montreal Protocol Celebrates Landmark Achievement with Universal Ratification of All Amendments 

Nairobi, 08 December 2014 - Global efforts to protect the ozone layer have reached a major milestone after all of the Amendments to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer received universal ratification by 197 Parties. 

UN Says Global Carbon Neutrality Should be Reached by Second Half of Century, Demonstrates Pathways to Stay Under 2°C Limit

Washington D.C., 19 November 2014 - In order to limit global temperature rise to 2°C and head off the worst impacts of climate change, global carbon neutrality should be attained by mid-to-late century. This would also keep in check the maximum amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that can be emitted into the atmosphere while staying within safe temperature limits beyond 2020, says a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

UNEP and the Organization of American States Renew Joint-Efforts to Enhance Environmental Rule of law 

Washington D.C., 19 November 2014 - The UN South-South Cooperation Expo on enhancing cooperation for sustainable development served as the stage for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNEP and the Organization of American States (OAS) designed to foster increased cooperation between the two organizations on the development and implementation of environmental rule of law for the promotion of sustainable development. 

UN Top Environment Award Announces 2014 Laureates

Nairobi/Washington D.C., 19 November 2014 - The Innovators and policymakers whose service to the environment is saving lives, improving livelihoods and bettering environmental governance and conservation were announced as recipients of the United Nation's highest environmental accolade, the Champions of the Earth Award.