United Nations Environment Programme

Committee language: German

The United Nations Environmental programme was established in 1972 by UN Resolution 27/2997. Its mission is to promote sustainable development worldwide and to act as a facilitator and driver for these goals. UNEP's work focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals and monitoring progress towards a sustainable world. UNEP acts as an interface between GOs and NGOs and is involved in the development of numerous international environmental programmes. UNEP is based in Kenya, making it the only UN organisation headquartered in a developing country. The UN organ of UNEP is the so-called Environment Assembly, which meets every two years and in which all UN member states are represented. The Environment Assembly develops, negotiates and adopts environmental protection programmes and forwards its decisions and recommendations to the General Assembly.

Topics MUNHN 2021:

- Rainforest conservation agreement

The rainforest is one of the tipping elements of climate change; if forest area continues to be cleared at the same intensity as today, climate change can no longer be stopped.

Currently, there is no international agreement, only national conventions. Overall, only 47% of the rainforests are protected. Because the problem cannot be postponed, the General Assembly has put the issue on its agenda. An international framework agreement on the protection of the rainforests is to be worked out.

The aim is to harmonise the economic interests of the riparian states with the ecological interests of the global community in order to protect and conserve the rainforest sustainably and effectively through a well-founded international treaty.

-Ocean ecosystem in danger

Our ocean ecosystem forms the largest habitat on earth and covers 70% of the "blue planet" with water. The oceans regulate the global climate system and are therefore a sensitive adjusting screw for the weather and climate, which is why the marine ecosystem is indispensable for an ecological balance. According to the IUCN (the World Conservation Union), the oceans act as a buffer for the climate balance. In its SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) report, the United Nations predicted a 100-150% increase in ocean acidity by 2100, which would affect half of all marine life. Although the importance of the oceans is well known, they are subject to diverse and intensive use by humans, whose demands for use are constantly growing. For example, the oceans are a popular source of food worldwide, but the high catches can lead to overfishing. The UN initiated the Port State Measures Agreement, the first legally binding international agreement against illegal fishing, which has been signed by 97 countries. Research has also shown that there are several hundred thousand pieces of microplastic floating in every square kilometre of ocean today. Also glaring is the multitude of chemicals that enter the marine ecosystem through surface runoff of fertilisers, disposal of chemical weapons and radioactive waste, contaminating almost every living thing in the sea with chemicals. Another burden is the ever-increasing maritime traffic. Due to the challenges described above, the UN Environment Programme has decided to put the issue on the agenda and to work out possible solutions through international cooperation.

-Promotion of innovative technologies for environmental protection