Major Groups And Other Stakeholders As Implementing Partners

It is apparent that environmental issues are too large to be addressed by a single entity but rather require the concerted efforts of all sectors of our increasingly interconnected global society. UNEP’s longstanding commitment to addressing environmental issues through partnerships has been instrumental in its successes. The benefits of forging partnerships are manifold: the achievement of synergies through joint efforts, capacity-building and policy support, targeting transformational change and strategizing long-term partnering;

Decisions taken by governments at UNEP’s United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP serve as the basis for UNEP’s Programme of Work. Many of these decisions call for the active participation of Major Groups and other Stakeholders in UNEP’s work, as their involvement is crucial for strong results given the scientific and legal expertise, outreach abilities and in some cases financial resources they provide. This is why UNEP entrusts Major Groups and other Stakeholders with the implementation of project activities as implementing partners.

The following examples are only a small part of UNEP’s numerous partnerships with Major Groups and other Stakeholders at the global, regional and local level.

Indigenous Peoples and Their Communities


UNEP and Indigenous Peoples:A Partnership in Caring for the Environment. Policy Guidance

The objective of this Policy Guidance to UNEP is to better understand and build on the Indigenous Peoples’ rights, knowledge, practices and systems that provide the framework for the harmonious relations that most Indigenous Peoples have with their environment. Furthermore, it aims to ensure that UNEP appropriately considers Indigenous Peoples in its activities and engages with Indigenous Peoples as important partners in environmental policy development and implementation on a regular basis
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UNEP Side Event at the 12th Session of the UN-Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

African Indigenous Peoples and the Green Economy Initiative

UNEP has released a report on the Green Economy Initiative (GEI), which was one of the major themes at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) in June 2012. From August 15-16, 2011, IPACC and Natural Justice facilitated a workshop of African indigenous leaders from nine African countries in collaboration with UNEP to study the content of the Green Economy Initiative, develop a critical understanding of its recommendations, assumptions and purpose, articulate a response, and issue a formal statement and a response document to be submitted to UNEP. Read the report “African Indigenous Peoples and the UNEP Green Economy Initiative” here. 


Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, 13th session, 2014- Side event

New York

Pastoralism and the 2015 agenda This side event was held on 21 May 2014 by UNEP with following partners: International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Alliance of Mobile Indigenous Peoples (WAMIP), International Land Coalition (ILC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and Tebtebba Pastoralism and the Post 2015 agenda.The side event examined facts, myths and emerging issues impacting pastoralists worldwide. A panel of speakers representing indigenous pastoralists, governments and UN bodies explored sustainable pastoralism solutions that could help define appropriate targets or indicators for the sustainable development goals.

Please find the side event report here.

For further information click here.

Workers and Trade Unions

    Strengthening trade union participation in international environmental processes

In April 2007, UNEP and the International Labour Foundation for Sustainable Development (Sustainlabour), in partnership with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and its affiliates, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the World Health Organization (WHO), launched a two-year project on “Strengthening trade union participation in international environmental processes”, with the financial support of the government of Spain....Read more

    Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World

The report Green Jobs: Towards Decent Work in a Sustainable, Low-Carbon World produced in the framework of the UNEP/ILO/IOE/ITUC Green Jobs Initiative assembles evidence - quantitative and conceptual - on existing green jobs. The report is the first comprehensive and authoritative report which provides an overview of the complexity and policy relevance of global environmental challenges —climate change— and employment....Read more

Business and Industry

Caring for Climate Network

The Caring for Climate Network is a climate change initiative being carried out with the active co-operation of Business and Industry. It is a voluntary network of businesses committed to climate action launched in 2007 that now has signatories from over 200 companies in 48 countries. The group’s platform, launched by UNEP, the UN Global Compact, and the World Businesses Council, calls on its members to promote energy-efficient practices, engage with national governments, cooperate and share information, and champion active responses to the dangers of climate change:

Caring for climate
Global Compact summit 
 UNEP’s work with Business and Industry

The Division for Technology, Industry and Economics (DTIE) partners with Business and Industry in the field of sustainable production and consumption. Among DTIE and Business and industry, there is a joint understanding and commitment about the importance of engaging with the private sector. This is not only true for activities around the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum and global consultation meetings with Major Groups and stakeholders. DTIE has also established communication and exchange in the development and reporting of UNEP’s Programme of Work. Find out more about DTIE’s partnerships with Business and Industry here.


Children and Youth


The TUNZA Youth Strategy

In February 2003, UNEP’s Governing Council adopted a long-term strategy for engaging young people in environmental activities and in the work of UNEP. The strategy was entitled the Tunza Youth Strategy. The TUNZA initiative is meant to develop activities in the areas of capacity building, environmental awareness, and information exchange, with a vision to foster a generation of environmentally conscious citizens, capable of positive action. Important by-products of this strategy include the annual Tunza International Youth Conference, Tunza Advisory Council and a quarterly Tunza magazine. Find out more here.


Farmers and the Green Economy

In April 2012, UNEP published a Perspectives issue on “Opportunities and Challenges Facing Farmers in Transitioning to a Green Economy Agriculture Practice” by Patrick Binns. The policy paper highlights the key opportunities and challenges confronting farmers throughout the world as they consider and adopt practices that contribute to green economic development, poverty eradication and improved food security. It also focuses on the role of farmers in green economic development and how a transition to a green economy could benefit farmers and describes the primary means to accomplish sustainable farming.


Local Authorities

Cities and sustainable development

At Rio+20, UNEP and ICLEI organized a side event entitled “Cities and Sustainable Development: Contributions of Local Authorities and Businesses to Achieving Sustainable Development - Special Focus on China”. The event presented challenges and solutions to the rapid urbanization, showing in particular examples from China, within a global sustainable development context, looking at how the Green Economy concept can contribute to Sustainable Development at the local level. 

Non-Governmental Organizations


Partnership for Principle 10

Along with IUCN, UNDP, the World Bank, governments, WRI, and other partners, UNEP is a founding member of the “Partnership for Principle 10” (PP10). Under PP10, UNEP has committed to increasing its performance in providing adequate information to the interested public. This initiative identifies the three principles articulated in Principle 10 as keys for public participation in environmental governance. PP10 is committed to translating the principles into action by promoting transparent, inclusive, and accountable decision-making at the national level. Read more

The Scientific and Technological Community

Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

IPBES aims to establish an interface between the scientific community and policy makers to build capacity for and strengthen the use of science in policy making. In addition to UNESCO, UNDP and FAO, UNEP is one of the UN co-partners of IPBES. Although there are many organizations and initiatives that contribute to the science-policy interface on biodiversity and ecosystem services, there is no ongoing global mechanism recognized by both the scientific and policy communities that brings information together and synthesizes and analyses it for decision making. IPBES is meant to address these gaps. Read more.




Women and the environment

"Women and the environment” results from a partnership between UNEP and the Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO). An international advocacy organization, WEDO works to achieve a healthy and peaceful planet, seeking environmental, social, political and economic justice for all through women’s empowerment and equal participation in decision-making, from the local to the global arenas. The publication makes the often hidden links between women and the environment visible, with an explicit focus on the gender-related aspects of land, water and biodiversity conservation and management. Read more.


Gender and the environment

UNEP is working to highlight the important role that women play in sustainable development. UNEP recognizes gender as a cross-cutting priority, and its programme of work promotes women’s participation in all environmental protection and sustainable development activities. Gender equality is now a cross-cutting priority in all UNEP activities, and the organization is systematically integrating gender perspectives into all its programme design and implementation, along with measurable goals and indicators. Read more.