International Environmental Technology Centre 



United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)As a part of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), IETC contributes to implementation of its goals and vision.

The work of UNEP is underpinned by the fundamental values identified in the Millennium Declaration of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility and recognizing, among other things, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as contained in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. The work of UNEP contributes to the achievement of the relevant Millennium Development Goals and enhancing the understanding of agreed international environmental goals and targets.

The vision of UNEP for the medium-term future is to be:

“The leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, that promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and that serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.”

UNEP seeks to realize its vision by focusing its efforts on six cross-cutting thematic priorities:

  • Climate change
  • Disasters and conflicts
  • Ecosystem management
  • Environmental governance
  • Harmful substances and hazardous waste
  • Resource efficiency

Through its waste management activities IETC supports UNEP's actions towards, in particular, resource efficiency and protecting the environment and human health from harmful substances and hazardous wastes.

UNEP actively reaches out to Governments, other United Nations entities, international institutions, multilateral environmental agreement secretariats, civil society, the private sector and other relevant partners to implement the Medium-term strategy.

Resource efficiency – sustainable consumption and production

The UNEP objective is that natural resources are produced, processed and consumed in a more environmentally sustainable way.

UNEP promotes the decoupling of growth in production and consumption of goods and services from resource depletion and environmental degradation, and strengthening the scientific base for doing so. The application of environmentally sound technologies and integrated waste management leads to the more efficient use of resources. Reforms in government policies, changes in private sector management practices and decisions, and increased consumer awareness are needed to achieve this decoupling.

Harmful substances and hazardous waste

UNEP's harmful substances and hazardous waste sub-programme assists countries and regions in managing the life cycles of chemical substances and waste that could pose a threat to the environment and human health.  For more than 30 years, UNEP's work has supported initiatives related to specific chemicals or to critical elements of their life cycles. 

UNEP's work includes efforts to reduce risks from mercury, heavy metals, pesticides, persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and other chemicals of global concern.