(UNEP) is one of the most important institutions shaping the global environmental policy and its implementation. It was created by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1972, following a decision at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment at Stockholm (1972) which had recommended the creation of a new U.N. Environment Body.
UNEP has been designed to be the environmental conscience of the UN System which plays a catalytic role coordinating the activities of other UN agencies and promoting them to integrate environmental consideration into their activities.
Headquarters of UNEP are located in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEP’s environmental activities involve treaties and guidelines concerning environmental protection. It has been active in the area of International environmental law making and their implementation. More than forty out of nearly a hundred multi-lateral environmental treaties adopted outside the European Community since 1973 were concluded under the auspices of UNEP.
Environmental Assessment has been a keystone of UNEP’s activity. It administers or co-ordinates activities of Global Environmental Monitoring System (GEMS) and Air Pollution Monitoring Network with World Meteorological Organization. With World Health Organization (WHO) it monitors health related information and with Food and Agricultural Organization it monitors food contamination from all sources.
UNEP’s environmental education programme is aimed at educating the general public. It involves about 10,000 educators in nearly 140 countries of the world. UNEP’s important area of activity today has been the building up of a wide spread social and political consensus for sustainable development while it continues to carry out its earlier commitments to the cause of protection of nature, natural resources and the environment.