UNEP played a critical role in creating the 2030 Agenda. It laid the conceptual groundwork needed to ensure that environmental sustainability was embedded in the agenda and reflected in the goals, targets and indicators as a cross-cutting issue and a development priority.
UNEP has promoted the creation of an agenda that acknowledges links and integrates the environmental, social and economic dimensions. Only such integration will foster the change required to secure long-term human and environmental well-being, including poverty eradication.
UNEP has also advocated for the principle of universality in the agenda. Universality requires the recognition of universal principles, standards and values applicable to all countries and all peoples. It means recognizing that national and global development is connected. It implies acknowledging that sustainable development issues exist in all countries. Its commitment to leaving no one behind means reaching everyone, including the most vulnerable, marginalized and excluded populations.
UNEP is the primary United Nations organization mandated to support the monitoring of the environment. UNEP has been working with the Inter-agency Expert Group on SDG Indicators (IEAG-SDG) and the UN Statistical Commission (UNSC) to ensure that the 2030 Development Agenda is well-balanced and will serve as a mechanism for bringing the environmental dimension into the indicator framework.
UNEP's Role in Monitoring Progress
One third of the indicators are directly related to the environment. UNEP is playing a role by either taking the lead or contributing to the implementation of those 80 environment-related indicators in coordination with other actors as a cohesive whole. Of those, indicators with an environmental focus specifically will be made available on UNEP Live, which will bring together information from multiple sources to serve as a central database for tracking progress and monitoring the environment’s contribution in achieving the goals.