Overview

Good Governance for a Sustainable Future

Everyone can live in safe and healthy societies when we responsibly manage our environment. Policies and laws are there to help us to do that, and where they are not, it is up to our law makers and policy makers to create or change them. UN Environment works with countries and organizations to promote stronger institutions to combat environmental crime and to improve cooperation between law makers the world over who are working on our behalf to safeguard the environment. But governments can’t do this alone. They need the guidance and tools that are provided through internationally agreed environmental goals.

That is why UN Environment identifies the common goals across international environmental agreements and works with countries to enhance cooperation and coordination in their implementation at regional, national and international levels. We refer to this as Leveraging Synergies. We consider our partnerships to be one of our greatest assets in supporting countries to meet their environmental commitments, including by assisting them to strengthen institutions. It is also these partnerships that help us to integrate environmental considerations into other sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism. We refer to this as Main-streaming.

We may sometimes think of the law as something divorced from our day-to-day lives, but for many of us it is the reason we can still breathe fresh air, drink clean water, and sleep safely at night. Sadly, it is also the reason why so many cannot. At UN Environment we are working with countries to influence the policies and law making processes that will enable people to live dignified lives - wherever they are. 

Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)