UNEP Giant Mural

About the United Nations Environment Programme

UN Nairobi Offices/ Valentin Flauraud for SAYPE

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global authority on the environment.

UNEP’s mission is to inspire, inform, and enable nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

For over 50 years, UNEP has worked with governments, civil society, the private sector and UN entities to address humanity’s most pressing environmental challenges - from restoring the ozone layer to protecting the world's seas and promoting a green, inclusive economy.

UNEP is driving transformational change by drilling down on the root causes of the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature and biodiversity loss and pollution.

UNEP’s work is focused on helping countries transition to low-carbon and resource-efficient economies, strengthening environmental governance and law, safeguarding ecosystems, and providing evidence-based data to inform policy decisions.

Through cutting-edge science, coordination and advocacy, UNEP supports its 193 Member States to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and live in harmony with nature.

And this work has never been more critical.

For a look back at UNEP’s history and five decades of environmental milestones, watch the video and see the UNEP timeline of milestones over the past 50 years.


UNEP works closely with its 193 Member States and representatives from civil society, businesses, and other major groups and stakeholders to address environmental challenges through the UN Environment Assembly, the world’s highest-level decision-making body on the environment.

UNEP’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

UNEP’s core mission is to find solutions to the triple planetary crisis. As the leading global authority on the environment, the institution helps its Member States to foster climate stability, live in harmony with nature and forge a pollution-free future, supporting the achievement of all 17 SDGs.

UNEP has spent more than 50 years supporting sustainable development through its work on the environment.

An illustration of the Earth's land and oceans.

UNEP – your partner for people and planet

This booklet presents an overview of UNEP – its mission, vision, strategy and action for tackling the triple planetary crisis. It chronicles environmental highlights from the past five decades, shows how UNEP works in partnerships, and explains why it is crucial that funding provided to UNEP keeps pace with the growing expectations placed on the organization to deliver results in support of people and planet.