Climate Change




Environmental Governance

Building Blocks for Better Environmental Governance

Environmental governance is about policy, rules and norms, institutions, procedures and financing mechanisms.  It addresses who makes decisions, how decisions are made and carried out, the scientific information needed for decision-making, how the public and major stakeholders can participate in the decision-making, the kind of information that should be available and how processes and systems are reviewed.

While there has been significant progress in the last decade in the development of environmental institutions and legislation in Asia Pacific, the region's burgeoning economic growth and growing population have taken a toll on its natural resource base and the environment. This is largely attributed to the region's weak environmental governance, poor enforcement and lack of participatory planning and implementation.


In Asia Pacific, UNEP works with intergovernmental bodies, environment ministries, research organizations, UN agencies and civil society to identify and address common and transboundary issues. UNEP assists governments by providing information for environment management and decision-making, enhancing regional environmental cooperation, developing and applying national and international environmental law, advancing national and regional implementation of environmental objectives, and bridging major groups and governments in policy development and implementation processes.

To do this, UNEP:
  • Supports regional and sub-regional ministerial forums for policy exchange and priority-setting for key environmental issues;
  • Provides technical assistance to governments to enhance their capacity to strengthen and implement environmental law, and supports multilateral environmental agreements;
  • Supports the mainstreaming environmental sustainability in national development processes and UN common country programming processes;
  • Supports mainstreaming pro-poor environmental sustainability into poverty reduction through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)-UNEP Poverty and Environment Initiative;
  • Promotes and supports sound science and policy advice for environmental decision-making;
  • Engages civil society and stakeholders in policy dialogue