UNEP has been conducting its environmental law activities on the basis of sequential ten-year Montevideo Programmes for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law, setting the strategy for UNEP's engagement in the field of environmental law.
In February 2009, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme adopted the Fourth Montevideo Programme Montevideo IV; for the decade commencing in 2010. This programme was developed by a group of experts in consultation with senior government officials. It provides a framework for UNEP activities in development and implementation of Environmental Law for the decade beginning in 2010.
Previous Montevideo Programmes
The first Montevideo Programme Montevideo I; was adopted by the Governing Council of UNEP in 1982. It was developed in 1981 by a group of senior government officials, expert in environmental law, as a strategic guidance plan in fulfillment of UNEP’s mandate to undertake activities in regard to the conclusion of international agreements and the development of international principles, guidelines and standards.
The second Montevideo Programme Montevideo II; adopted by the Governing Council in 1993, was based largely upon the requirements outlined in Agenda 21 adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992.
The governing council adopted the third Montevideo Programme Montevideo III in 2001. It included twenty components, organized under three main themes: effectiveness of environmental law; conservation and management; and relationship with other fields.