Nairobi, 6 May 2010 - In a move signalling strong support for the policies, plans and reform agenda of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Norway has committed NOK 100 million (US$34 million) for 2010/2011 towards the organization's forward-looking work programme and its Medium Term Strategy (MTS).
The strategy is centred on several cross cutting themes. These are Climate Change; Ecosystem Management; Environmental Governance; Harmful substances and hazardous waste and Resource efficiency, including sustainable consumption and production.
And it is supported by four pillars upon which the reform of UNEP stands and which have been evolving over the past four years. These are results based management; sound science; UNEP within the UN; The Bali Strategic Plan on Technology Support and Capacity Building.
Elisabeth Jacobsen, the Norwegian Ambassador to Kenya, said this week's announcement by Norway was aimed at strengthening a UN body making a difference in the world and in its own operating structures.
"Ultimately, the funding is a vote of confidence in UNEP, and we hope it can be used to strengthen the organisation's science-based policies and reviews," she said.
"We believe in UNEP because it has an important mandate and we have seen that it has been able to deliver on key environmental issues such as the Green Economy", added Ms Jacobsen.
United Nations Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner said: "We welcome Norway's contribution as vital for our continuing work but also as a vote of confidence in what we are determined to achieve from tackling environmental governance and reform to strengthening vulnerable countries in the face of climate change. It is in many ways a model of the way donor nations can interact and engage with UN partner organizations".
" The new framework agreement will assist UNEP take forward its MTS and respond to countries requesting support and advice in delivering the policies and smart market mechanisms as they move towards a low carbon, resource efficient Green Economy. It also reinforces UNEP's scientific and normative mandates which are key contribution to international cooperation on sustainable development."
Norway is already supporting UNEP and the UN's work across a wide range of environmental issues including the UNEP, UNDP and FAO partnership on Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation as part of the response to climate change.
Norway, along with Germany, the United Kingdom and The European Commission is also a key supporter of The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) which is bringing economics into the mainstream in order to boost more intelligent management of the planet's natural and nature-based assets in 2010 - the International Year of Biodiversity.
"With this new funding agreement, Norway has again demonstrated leadership on the real and concrete challenges of the 21st century and its conviction that multilateralism is the world's best bet for an equitable and sustainable future development path," said Mr Steiner.