United Nations Environment Programme environment for development
Regional Work

Climate Change

Raising public awareness and strengthening the ability of individuals, communities, and nations to adapt to climate change. More

Disasters and Conflicts

Minimising threats to human well-being and the environment caused by disasters and conflicts and their consequences.


Ecosystem Management

Supporting balanced responses to natural resource management to meet future ecological and human needs. More

Environmental Governance

Promoting informed decision-making to enhance global and regional environmental cooperation. More

Chemicals and Waste

UNEP is a primary driving force in the UN system for international activities related to the sound management of chemicals. More

Resource Efficiency

Ensuring that natural resources are produced, processed and consumed in a more environmentally sustainable way. More

Environment Under Review
Contributing to sustainable development and improved well-being through empowering stakeholders at global, regional and national levels; by providing open web platforms, services and access to timely, substantiated knowledge about the environment and emerging issues; and by strengthening capacities to make use of substantiated knowledge in decision-making.

Regional News

Launch of the Geneva Science-Policy Platform on Environment and Security

Launch of the Geneva Science-Policy Platform on Environment and Security

Diplomats and scientists pledge to work together to find meaningful solutions for issues of environment and security

Geneva, 17 November: Today Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives of countries accredited at the UN in Geneva, as well as distinguished members of the international academia, attended the launch event of the Geneva Science-Policy Platform on Environment and Security, hosted jointly by the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) represented by the UN Environment Programme and the University of Geneva. The launch event provided an opportunity for the policy-making and academic community to discuss the implications of climate change on European and global security.

The newly established platform will serve as a network supplying knowledge and technical expertise for new approaches to confront existing and emerging challenges in the field of environment and security. It will establish continuous dialogue between scientists and policymakers to generate new ideas and methodologies to implement new solutions that facilitate environmental cooperation. The Platform will meet on an annual basis to address existing and emerging environmental risks and tensions in the overall context of global issues.

At the launch event, dedicated to Climate Change and the Future of European Security, participants exchanged views on the effects of climate change already happening in Europe, and the associated security implications for the future, such as the threat of mass migration from climate change-affected regions and humanitarian crises in the context of increasingly probable natural disasters. They also discussed what tools have been applied by various stakeholders to combat climate change, and what lessons can already be learned from other regions to formulate new environmentally sound security strategies.

“Through implementing ENVSEC projects on the ground, we came to realize how important it is to transform the current thinking to appreciate how deeply the environment and natural resources relate to our security concerns, and how the environment is at risk due to political tensions and lack of security. It is in this context that we also realized the importance of knowledge in integrating environmental sustainability and ecosystem management in the political agenda of states, as we are embarking on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” said Jan Dusik, UNEP Director and Regional Representative.

The Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) is a partnership of five international organizations – UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and Regional Environment Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) – with specialized but complementary mandates and expertise that provide an integrated response to environment and security challenges. The mission of ENVSEC is to contribute to the reduction of environment and security risks through strengthened cooperation among and within countries in four regions: Central Asia, Eastern Europe, Southern Caucasus, and South-Eastern Europe.

For more information, contact Isabelle Valentiny, Head of Communications, Regional Office for Europe, UNEP at isabelle.valentiny@unep.org - + 41 79 251 82 36 or Mahir Aliyev, UNEP Regional Coordinator: mahir.aliyev@unep.org

UNEP to bring green flavour to UN anniversary in Geneva

Visitors at the UN Geneva Open Days celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations will be able to learn, play games about and taste the theme of sustainability as well as see a one-wheel Segway in action thanks to UNEP’s presence at the event this Saturday.

UNEP’s stand can be found inside the Palais des Nations' Bar du Serpent while children’s activities – including art and puppet shows featuring Ozzy Ozone – will take place on the third floor above the bar.

Visitors can discover how pesticides are controlled, how the trade in endangered species is being fought, what a green economy is and how the environment is protected in countries following conflicts at UNEP’s stand - capturing the broad scope of the organisation’s work from Geneva.

Publications, a game on actions we can take for our planet made out of recycled materials, postcards and organic apples will also be available at the stand, which brings a green touch to a day when Geneva’s iconic ‘jet d’eau’ fountain and other features around the city will be coloured blue.

Saturday 24 October marks the seventieth anniversary of the entering into force of the UN Charter. Between 10h and 17h visitors at the Palais can enjoy concerts, dances, debates and more as well as visit stands held by UN organisations and member states.

For more information on all activities taking place please click here

Lead poisoning prevention week targets paint

This year’s edition of lead poisoning prevention week will focus on the aim of eliminating paint containing the harmful metal by 2020.

Between 25 and 31 October, events including art competitions and actions such as free blood tests will be taking place across the globe to raise awareness on the health hazards of lead - particularly for young children - and to mobilise action to prevent lead exposure. 

The Albanian Institute of Public Health will be purchasing enamel paint at a market in the country’s capital Tirana and testing it for lead content before sharing results online and via the media. Meanwhile, Severn Trent Water in the UK will be issuing posters and using social media to raise awareness of lead pipes, of which many still exist in homes across the country.  

“It may be shocking to think that the paint we buy to decorate our families’ houses or toys we give to our children can potentially be deadly, yet lead poisoning is easily preventable” said Jan Dusik, Director of UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe. 

“By working together with health organisations, industry and others we can make a dramatic difference for those most vulnerable to lead poisoning in our societies,” he underlined.  

Overall exposure to lead is estimated to contribute to about 600 000 new cases of intellectual disabilities among children every year, with the vast majority living in low and middle-income countries.  

While most countries have eradicated the metal from petrol, lead paint remains an important source of exposure for children and workers in many states. 

A recent survey by the WHO and UNEP on behalf of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint has found that more than 65 countries do not have legally binding controls on lead in paint. Meanwhile, market surveys have shown that paints containing large quantities of lead are on sale to the public in some of these countries.

Even in states with laws regulating the paint, the substance may have been used on surfaces in older homes and buildings when this was permitted, creating a long-term exposure problem. 

As long as it is not ingested, lead paint is safe when intact. Yet over time it decays and fragments, contaminating the home environment. In such cases, it can potentially affect all human organ systems as it is easier to swallow – especially for young children who frequently play on the ground and put their hands in their mouths. No safe level of exposure to lead has been identified.

The annual week is initiated by the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint - a voluntary partnership including industry and citizen groups working to phase-out the manufacture and sale of lead in paint by 2020. The alliance is co-led by the World Health Organisation and UNEP. 

More information on the week of action, including customisable campaign materials, can be found by clicking here

In order to view events already organised or to register your own, please click here.

For more information, please contact

Isabelle Valentiny, Head of Communications, UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe, +41 79 251 82 36, isabelle.valentiny@unep.org

Nada Osseiran, Communications Officer, Public Health and Environment Department, World Health Organisation, +41 22 7914475, osseirann@who.int

For UNEP global news, click here
Highlights prev next


What We Do

Get Involved

Ask an Expert

UNEP Regions
Follow Us
facebook twitter google plus
Publications prev next