Regional Support Office

UNEP-China Cooperation

UNEP in China News

“UNEP-China-Africa Cooperation on the Environment” at AMCEN

Chinese experts working on water-saving agriculture in Kenya

UNEP has had a presence in China since September 2003, when it opened an office in Beijing. Since then, there has been positive development and collaboration between UNEP and China. Some of these areas of mutual cooperation have included:

Policy Dialogue On 11 July 2011 China's Minister of Environment Zhou Shengxian made his first visit to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), where he spoke on international environmental cooperation and the promotion of a Green Economy.

16 November 2011, UN Under Secretary General and UNEP's Executive Director Achim Steiner signed into operation the second UNEP-China MoU at a ceremony in Beijing, China.

 Project Implementation Since 2005, there has existed a tripartite cooperation agreement (China - UNEP - Africa) which saw the first phase implement 4 projects in 17 countries (2007-2010) at a cost of US$1.8M. The second phase (2011-2013) will involve six projects in 16 different African countries at a cost of US$6M spread over a period of 3 years. The focus of the second phase will be one river (The Nile), one Lake (Lake Tanganyika) and one Desert (The Sahara)

At Rio+20

  • At the UN meeting on Sustainable Development in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao announced that China will contribute US$6 million to a UNEP trust fund for projects and activities that help developing countries raise their capacity for environmental protection. He also promised that China will make available 200 million yuan ( US$31.7 million) for a three-year international project to help small island countries, least developed countries and African countries tackle climate change.China's Premier also proposed improving the mechanism of global governance to promote sustainable development, stressing that the United Nations should play a leading role in developing an effective institutional framework for sustainable development.

  • Also at Rio+20, UNEP worked together with the Xinhua News Agency, to hold the Green Economy and Sustainable Development Summit and "China-in-Action Environmental Protection Achievements" Photo Exhibition. The Summit focused on the theme of "Global Sustainable Development" and presented the development course of China's Green Economy. Ambassador Sha Zukang, UN Under-Secretary-General, the Secretary General of Rio+20, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner, Mr. Francisco Gaetani, Executive-Secretary of the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, and Mr. Li Jinzhang, China’s Ambassador to Brazil attended the forum and delivered welcoming remarks.

  • UNEP's Report "Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication" was also launched at the Rio+20 meeting. It was a collaborative effort by UNEP and Tongji University in Shanghai. Tongji University, through the UNEP-Tongji Institute of Environment for Sustainable Development (IESD),  mobilized a multidisciplinary team of distinguished experts in China to translate the various chapters  of the 600-page report. The English version of the report was launched by Mr. Steiner in Beijing in November 2011.

  • Rio+20 Global Town Hall: UNEP-ICLEI Sustainable Urban Development Day with Special Focus on China Co-organized by UNEP and ICLEI and sponsored by the Chinese Entrepreneurs Union (CEU), the "Cities and Sustainable Development" Forum was successfully held at the Rio+20 Global Town Hall. The session opened the debate on how Chinese cities can enhance resiliency, attain low carbon growth, build smart infrastructure and foster a green urban economy. Mr. Zhang Jianfei, Mayor of Changsha city in southern Hunan province, has been actively working to become an eco-city by, among other initiatives, building more bike lanes and hiking trails.