Non-Governmental Organizations

Tree planting challenge in Estonia ©

The NGOs Major Group has the highest number of accredited organisations with UNEP and with the UN system in general. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) make valuable contributions in promoting sustainable development through their well-established and diverse experience, expertise and capacity, especially in the area of analysis, sharing of information and knowledge, promotion of dialogue and support of implementation of sustainable development. NGOs have been important partners for UNEP since its foundation in 1972 and are currently involved in almost all UNEP activities, at policy and programmatic level, including implementation of projects through partnerships.

The following examples are only a small part of UNEP’s numerous partnerships with Non-Governmental Organizations at the global, regional and local level.

Principle 10 - Public participation, access to information and access to justice in environmental matters

UNEP works with Non-Governmental organizations in the field of public participation, access to information and access to justice in environmental matters. Prior to the Rio+20 conference, for example, UNEP organized in partnership with the World Resources Institute, The Access Initiative, UNITAR, UNECE, EEA, EEB, World Future Council, REC, Article 19, The Inspection Panel, Stakeholder Forum, FGV Program on Law and Environment the “Choosing Our Future: Open and Participatory Sustainable Development Governance” event.

At the event, Governments, civil society groups and inter-governmental organizations presented and discussed challenges and success stories towards improving participatory environmental governance, in line with Principle 10, including through international, regional and national processes, addressing key related themes of the Rio + 20 process, including: 
  1. Implementation of the UNEP Guidelines for the Development of National Legislation on Access to Information, Public Participation and Access to Justice on Environmental Matters; 
  2. Enhanced Public Participation in IEG and IFSD; 
  3. Ombudsperson for Future Generations; 
  4. Global/Regional Convention on Principle 10; 
  5. Building Bridges across initiatives including the Aarhus Convention, to the Open Government Partnership, the Eye on Earth Conference outcomes, including the Access for All Special Initiative and the TAI Three D campaign.
Find out more about UNEP's work on Principle 10 here.

Perspectives articles
UNEP has published several articles in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations presenting their views on issues related to International Environmental Governance (IEG) and sustainable development:

Accredited organizations

Find here a list of all Non-governmental organizations accredited with the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) of UNEP.