UNEP has always had non-governmental organizations (NGOs) amongst its key partners, whether global, regional, national or even local groupings. In order to develop new partnerships for cooperation and strengthen environmental commitment, it became necessary to reach out to a wider and diversified spectrum of constituencies such as youth, local authorities, trade and consumer unions, industry and the private sector.
UNEP attaches key importance to its partnerships with major groups in civil society throughout the world. These include UNEP National Committees, parliamentarians (through the organization GLOBE), consumers, youth, and other regional and inter-regional networks. UNEP cooperates with the Television Trust for the Environment, which it co-founded in 1982, to produce international video and film co-productions, and with several other partners.
UNEP National committees
UNEP raises public awareness on global environmental issues at country level through the establishment of UNEP National Committees. These committees help carry out awareness-raising or educational projects by disseminating environmental information to large audiences in many languages. UNEP National Committees exist in 32 European countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Spain, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Kingdom, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). There are advanced preparations for establishment of committees in the Baltic States and other European countries.
Children, Youth and Sports
Also, to encourage the participation of students and youth leaders in environmental affairs worldwide, UNEP co-organizes global youth fora. UNEP dialogues with religious and spiritual communities, and works with artists, women, and children. Regular global children conferences contribute to better understanding of major global environmental issues. International children's drawing and painting contests are organized, as well as international photographic competitions on the environment for young people - all promoting awareness of the need for environmental protection for future generations. In addition, UNEP's close cooperation with the International Olympic Committee aims at promoting greener Games and other sports events.
UNEP Special events
World Environment Day (WED) is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. It is organized every 5th of June, and over the years it has grown to be a broad, global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries. It also serves as the ‘people’s day’ for doing something positive for the environment, galvanizing individual actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet. The UNEP Sasakawa Prize is also presented in June to honour nominees for their achievements on the frontlines of global environmental action.