The Environment Management Group has managed to carry out and conclude various projects since its inception, which helped facing environment-related issues through a UN system-wide approach.

A brief overview of these projects is provided here below. For more detailed information, please refer to the Final Reports.

At the 27th meeting in 2021, the EMG Senior Officials expressed their overall support for making a contribution to the international meeting entitled “Stockholm+50: a healthy planet for the prosperity of all – our responsibility, our opportunity.” The EMG Task Team was established to facilitate the UN System Contribution to the Stockholm+50.

In response to the global priority of infrastructure investment for achieving the SDGs, the EMG established a Consultative Process on Sustainable Infrastructure in 2020. The Process sought to strengthen the coordination of UN system support to Member States on integrating sustainability into infrastructure planning.

The EMG established a Task Team on Marine Litter and Microplastics in 2019 to strengthen the coordination of UN system support to Member States facing the challenges posed by marine litter. The Task Team prepared a 2022 report on UN system-wide efforts addressing the issue as a first step towards expanding UN system-wide collaboration.

To address the environmental dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EMG established the Consultative Process on Green Recovery in 2020. The mandate of the Process was to help the UN system define a coherent approach and identify opportunities for collaboration on a green recovery. In late 2021, the EMG published a final report based on this work.

The 24th Senior Officials Meeting of the EMG in 2018 led to the formation of a Coalition to Combat Sand and Dust Storms. This was in response to UN General Assembly Resolution 72/225 (2018) and the preceding UN Environment Assembly Resolution 2/21 (2016).

The EMG’s IMG on Tackling E-waste published the report United Nation’s System-wide Response to Tackling E-waste (2017), highlighted the need for strengthened collaboration among United Nations organisations, with over 20 organisations active in tackling e-waste and over 150 e-waste initiatives having been undertaken since 2004. The report offers recommendations on maximizing system-wide coherence towards a life-cycle approach to tackling e-waste.

The IMG on Environment & Humanitarian Action served as a platform for an established UN-wide collaboration process to engage relevant organisations in the humanitarian and environment sectors in sharing expertise at the policy and programme level.

  • Consultative Process on Biodiversity

The Consultative Process on Biodiversity set out a cooperation based on a multi-sectoral policy perspective to the biodiversity challenge, confirmed that opportunities for improved mainstreaming exist, and demonstrated what a multi-sectoral approach can bring to the development and implementation of the biodiversity agenda. The Final Report signifies a milestone in a unique effort by the UN system to join hands in supporting the implementation of the biodiversity agenda by ‘delivering as one’.

Advancing the biodiversity agenda: A UN – system wide contribution

  • Issue Management Group on Green Economy

The aim of the IMG on Green Economy was to carry out an inter-agency assessment study on how the United Nations system could coherently support countries in transitioning to a green economy model, as well as to capture a common understanding of green economy and frame a coherent approach to appropriate measures needed to support green economic transitions at the international and country levels.

A United Nations System-wide Perspective

  • Issue Management Group on Global Drylands

Through this IMG, the UN system has come together to highlight the importance of drylands to key emerging issues on the global agenda, including climate change, food security and human settlements, by effectively bringing together the UN’s normative and analytic expertise, its operational and coordination capabilities, and its advocacy role at the country, regional level and global level.

Global Drylands: A UN system wide response

  • Issue Management Group on the Sound Management of Chemicals and Wastes

The objectives of this IMG were to raise the priority given to chemicals management in the broader UN system; promote integration of chemicals management issues in the context of economic and social development planning; and ensure additional synergies between UN organizations in supporting countries in activities to achieve the 2020 goal. The IMG also contributed to enhancing the profile of chemicals and wastes in the discussions on the SDGs and the 2030 agenda for sustainable development.

United Nations and the Sound management of Chemicals: Coordinating delivery for member states and sustainable development

In 2012, the EMG Senior Officials, inspired by the OECD, UNECE and others, established a peer-review process on the environmental performance of volunteer EMG members.