UNEP & IUCN: A New Strategic Partnership for the Environment

Joint Press statement of IUCN and UNEP on the occasion of the signing of the Cooperation Agreement between these two organisations, Wednesday, 23rd February, 2005 during the UNEP Governing Council Meeting, Gigiri, Nairobi.

Nairobi, 23 February 2005 - At a time when the environment agenda has greater demands made upon it and faces increasing challenges, IUCN and UNEP are reviewing their strategic partnership agreement.

"It is urgent that we work closely together in helping to re-position the conservation and environment agendas as a key response to addressing the Millenium Development Goals and the poverty eradication agenda. By strengthening our collaboration we believe that we can help our respective communities and constituencies to make a difference" said Achim Steiner, Director General of IUCN.

"IUCN- The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an organization with members at grass roots as well as in governments across the world. By joining forces we can together take the important step – mainstreaming biodiversity and other environmental concerns into the development agenda", says Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP.

IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and UNEP have enjoyed a long history of collaboration which goes back to the creation of the United Nations Environment Programme in 1972 and has resulted in landmark results - such as the World Conservation Strategy (1982), which provided a new paradigm for the environmental community at that time, and the development of the main environmental agreements (MEAs) now in place at global and regional levels. UNEP and IUCN have also collaborated in bringing together and making available key information on protected areas and environmental law and in developing capacities in most regions of the world.

Both institutions agreed to revise their 1995 Framework Agreement to respond to the challenges of today and especially to those resulting from the Millenium Assembly, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Doha Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation and the International Conference on Financing and Development.

This strengthened collaboration has been reflected by the UNEP-IUCN joint work carried out in response to the tsunami disaster. This has shown how the two organizations have built on their competencies and constituencies to provide a rapid response to one of the most challenging situations the world has seen in the last decades.

The signing of this MoU marks a new commitment to a more strategic collaboration and will provide a clear signal to advance the environmental agenda.

For More Information including arranging interviews with UNEP experts and scientists working on the emergence of infectious diseases please contact Eric Falt, Spokesman/Director UNEP Division of Communications and Public Information, on Tel: 254 20 623292, e-mail eric.falt@unep.org or Nick Nuttall, UNEP Head of Media, on Tel: 254 20 623084, Mobile 254 (0) 733 632755, e-mail nick.nuttall@unep.org


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