United Nations Environment Programme environment for development

Networks & Partnerships

Establishing and maintaining effective partnerships and networks to keep the world environmental situation under review underpins the work programme and is consistent with UNEP’s role as a catalytic organisation by mobilising institutional cooperation at the relevant level. The multidisciplinary nature of environmental issues and themes coupled with the fragmentation of data and information across different institutional custodians, makes it imperative to have structures in place to harness the best available scientific data to support scientific assessment and early warning, and report on the state of the environment from global down to local level.

On the communications side, the dissemination of policy-relevant assessment findings to policy-makers enables effective policies to be formulated in response to pressing environmental concerns. In addition, the provision of access to environmental information facilitates sound decision-making at the relevant level by a broad spectrum of stakeholders ranging from governmental officials to the ordinary citizen. UNEP is working to strengthen the capacities of national and regional institutions in West Asia to conduct/participate and produce policy relevant integrated environmental assessments.

  • Partnerships are normally agreed between UNEP and one or more organisations that have a well-defined stakeholder interest in the delivery of UNEP’s programme of work.  A framework Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or Letter of Agreement (LOA) is usually signed and describes the agreed areas of cooperation. UNEP has established or been part of a number of partnerships in support of its early warning, assessments and capacity development programmes.  These partnerships are quite diverse and cover issues such as geographic information systems, environmental information sharing, production of assessments with collaborating centres and so on.

  • Networks tend to be broader than partnerships in that many more institutions are engaged in the working relationship. Again, the network members share a common objective and tend to collaborate on an in-kind basis to derive mutual benefits form the working relationship.