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1. What is Tunza?

Answer: The word “TUNZA” means “to treat with care or affection” in Kiswahili (a sub-regional language in Eastern Africa).

The word Tunza was selected as the title of UNEP’s long-term strategy on working with young people in environmental issues. Several activities including the Tunza international and regional conferences, publications and campaigns are implemented to promote awareness and actions on the environment by young people.

2. What are the main focus areas of the TUNZA programme?

Answer: The main focus of the Tunza programme is to develop activities in the areas of capacity building, environmental awareness, information exchange and youth in environmental decision making processes, with a vision to foster a generation of environmentally conscious citizens, capable of positive action. The programme also seeks to promote the involvement of young people in environmental decision making processes.

3. How can one participate in Tunza activities?

Answer: To participate in any Tunza activity, please contact UNEP directly through: The Children and Youth Unit, UNEP, P.O. Box 30552 Nairobi, 00100, Kenya or by e-mail: children.youth@unep.org. You can also visit our web site www.unep.org/tunza for information on UNEP’s activities and how you can participate.

4. What’s the process to be included in the Tunza Networks?

Answer: The process to be included in the Tunza networks is by simply sending an email request to UNEP’s Children and Youth Unit at: children.youth@unep.org


5. Are there any funds for youth environmental activities from UNEP?

Answer: No, there is no funding for youth environmental activities from UNEP.

6. How then does UNEP support the activities of young people?

Answer: For viable environmental projects of youth organizations, UNEP provides letters of endorsement which might help in convincing donors to support the projects. Note that endorsement from UNEP is only given to organizations which are well known to UNEP and for activities which are considered to be sustainable.

7. How does the Tunza programme reach out to young people around the world?

Answer: The Tunza programme reaches out to young people through global and regional conferences, information exchange though regional and global networks, campaigns and competitions such as the Plant for the Planet Campaign and the International Children’s Painting Competition. UNEP also produces its quarterly magazine – Tunza which is share with young people in hard copies and online.

8. Why is the Tunza youth activities restricted to age group 15-24 years?

Answer: This age group conforms to the UN definition of youth. You may be aware that UNEP also has activities for children (14 years and below). You can get more information on this through our web site.


9. What is the Tunza Youth Advisory Council (TYAC)?

Answer: The Tunza Youth Advisory Council (TYAC) is a group of 12 youth leaders (2 per region), elected that the Tunza International Youth Conference to represent youth in international environmental fora and to advise UNEP on better ways of involving youth in its activities. It was launched in 1999 and has played a significant role in enhancing UNEP’s work with youth. The Council also informs young people about UNEP’s activities for youth. The term of each Council is two years.

10. Who qualifies for the Tunza Youth Advisory Council?

Answer: Any participant to the Tunza International Youth Conference who is 18 and has not celebrated their 23rd birthday qualifies for the TYAC.

11. Why is the age bracket for the TYAC different from the age bracket of the Tunza conference?

Answer: In most countries, anyone who is below 18 does not have the right to legally accept to perform any task. The Council requires young people who can take responsibilities in performing their task. On the other hand, as UNEP’s Tunza programme focuses on youth 24 years and below, it is also necessary for anyone who is elected to Council to still be within the age bracket at the end of his/her mandate. This is the reason why anyone who has already celebrated his/her 23rd birthday is not eligible for elections to the Council.

12. How often is the Tunza International Youth Conference held?

Answer: Every two years.

13. What is the purpose of the Tunza Youth Conference?

Answer: The Conference is one of the main platforms for cooperation and interaction between UNEP and its youth partners. It provides an opportunity for young people to share experiences on the environment and to develop joint strategies for coping with environmental problems in their communities.

14. What is United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)?

Answer: UNEP is the UN agency entrusted to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment. Its main mandate is to inspire, inform and enable nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

15. What does UNEP do?

Answer: Inform governments and peoples of the world about the state of the environment and provides them with options on how to address environmental problems. It also brings together governments and other UN entities to find ways of addressing environmental issues.

16. What UNEP activities can young people be involved when they are above the age limit of 24 years and where to find information on this?

Answer: UNEP has a very active section dealing with other major groups including NGOs. For people who are above 24 years old, they will find a variety of activities in our major groups section. Information about this can be found on our homepage www.unep.org Please visit this site if you are over 24 years old.

17. Does UNEP have offices in my country? If not which is the nearest UNEP office to my country?

Answer: UNEP has national offices in Brazil, Russia and China. The contacts details of these offices are on the web site. UNEP also has regional offices in all the six regions.

Regional Office for Africa – Nairobi, Kenya 
Regional Office for Europe – Geneva, Switzerland 
Regional Office for North America – Washington DC, USA 
Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean – Panama City, Panama 
Regional Office for Asia & the Pacific – Bangkok, Thailand 
Regional Office for West Asia – Manama, Bahrain 


18. What is the relationship between UNEP and Bayer?

Answer: UNEP and Bayer entered into a cooperation to promote environmental activities for young people. The joint activities regarding youth and environment are based upon UNEP's TUNZA strategy and Bayer’s commitment to promote youth environmental awareness and education. UNEP and Bayer are working at the global and regional levels to promote environmental awareness and actions by young people through a number of activities including the Tunza International Conferences, the Bayer Young Environmental Envoys and regional/sub-regional networks conferences.

19. Does UNEP have conferences for young people within the regions?

Answer: Yes, UNEP organizes regional and sub-regional conferences for young people in Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa. UNEP through the support of Bayer is also exploring the possibilities of organizing similar regional conferences in other regions.