UNEP, established in 1972, is the voice for the environment within the United Nations system. UNEP acts as a catalyst, advocate, educator and facilitator to promote the wise use and sustainable development of the global environment. UNEP’s work encompasses: Assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends, developing international and national environmental instruments and strengthening institutions for the wise management of the environment. On behalf of UNEP, the project is mainly coordinated through the UNEP Vienna Office. In addition to UNEP Vienna, the following entities of the wider UNEP network are involved in the project in support of UNEP delivery on mountains: DEWA/GRID Geneva, UNEP/GRID Warsaw and UNEP’s collaborating centre GRID Arendal.
UNEP Vienna: Provides the Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (ISCC), the only existing mountain convention besides the Alpine Convention, supporting a network of Protected Areas in the Carpathians (CNPA) and also works closely with the Alpine Network of Protected Areas (ALPARC) and other mountain regions in Europe and beyond. UNEP Vienna Office – as part of the Regional Office for Europe – maintains a big portfolio of projects and initiatives in the context of ecosystem management (alternate focal point of the ecosystem management programme of UNEP for Europe). In addition, UNEP Vienna works closely with other UN agencies and partners in terms of applied applications of EO for ecosystems management such as UNOOSA, Ev-K2-CNR, EURAC, GEOSS Secretariat.
GRID Geneva: DEWA/GRID-Geneva is part of UNEP's global group of environmental information centres, known as the Global Resource Information Database (GRID) network. GRIDs-Geneva and Nairobi were the first centres to be launched in mid-1985. GRID-Geneva facilitates access to and directly provides environmental data and information for decision-making and policy setting; underpins UNEP's ongoing review of environmental state and trends; and provides early warnings about emerging environmental problems and threats.
GRID-Geneva's mission is to serve as an internationally-recognized centre for applied research, transform data into scientifically validated information to support environmental early warnings and assessments for sustainable development, from local to global scales. The centre's vision is to serve UNEP and its partners as a source of “actionable”, popular and timely early warnings of emerging issues change, and related multi-scale assessments, based on scientific data, indicators and real-time information, and help to catalyse “evidence-based” responses.
GRID Warsaw: the Environmental Information Centre UNEP/GRID-Warsaw, est. in 1991 by UNEP and the Ministry of the Environment, Forestry and Natural Resources of Poland, is a specialised, UN-affiliated agency collecting, processing, and disseminating environmental information concerning Poland and the Eastern Europe. Areas of expertise and activity include: environmental data processing, thematic environmental mapping, environmental reporting, use of mobile GIS-based tools and techniques for data acquisition and publication at dedicated web-GIS portals to support monitoring and rapid mapping activities, development of web-GIS applications and web-based geoportals for data visualization, database and meta-database development and maintenance, socio-economic, environmental and spatial data analyses, use of remote sensing tools and techniques, as well as capacity building programs for the use of spatial information, GIS and ICT applications in environmental management (e.g. supporting decision making by public administration units) and environmental education.
GRID Arendal: GRID-Arendal a centre collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), supporting informed decision making and awareness-raising through: * Environmental information management and assessment * Capacity building services * Outreach and communication tools, methodologies and products. The mission of GRID-Arendal, which was established to support the UN in the field of environment, mainly through its Environment Programme (UNEP), is to create environmental knowledge enabling positive change. This is achieved by organizing and transforming available environmental data into credible, science-based information products, delivered through innovative communication tools and capacity-building services targeting relevant stakeholders.
Harald Egerer is Head of the Office of UNEP Vienna, that provides the Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (SCC).
In Ecopotential UNEP is leader of WP11 and contributes to WP5, WP9, WP10 and WP12.