The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. Its headquarters are in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. To accomplish this, UNEP works with a wide range of partners, including United Nations entities, international organizations, national Governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector and civil society.

UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

UNEP’s work encompasses:

- Assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends;
- Developing international and national environmental instruments;
- Strengthening institutions for the wise management of the environment;
- Facilitating the transfer of knowledge and technology for sustainable development; and
- Encouraging new partnerships and mind-sets within civil society and the private sector.

For the period 2010-2013, UNEP has identified six priority areas of work in its efforts to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century: