|Africa: Norway Provides the UN Environment Programme With Over U.S.$30 Million of Support|
| [23.02.2012, 08:32am, Thu. GMT]|
|As a tangible commendation of the mandate and achievements of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the Government of Norway has committed NOK 200 million (US$35 million) for the 2012-2013 biennium to support activities across UNEP's Programme of Work. This contribution is in addition to Norway's generous annual support to the core funding of UNEP and its support to key programmes such as the joint UNEP-UNDP-FAO, which is supporting capacity development and policy dialogue at country and international levels for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation in Developing Countries (REDD).Norway has doubled its support to the UNEP-UNDP Poverty and Environment Initiative to meet the increased demand from developing countries for advice on the integration of environmental concerns in national policies for development.|
In highlighting Norway's commitment to UNEP, Erik Solheim, Minister of the Environment and International Development, emphasized UNEP's role as a leading catalyst in the UN system for integrating environmental aspects into development.
"Ultimately," he said, "this funding is a mark of Norway's trust in UNEP. It will strengthen the organization's science-based policy work based on the GEO-report and other flagship publications and enhance UNEP's ability to support countries efforts to develop a low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive economy."
UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner acknowledged Norway's contribution as a strong vote of confidence in UNEP's ability to achieve results, whether by working with UN agencies to mainstream environmental sustainability into development policies, by providing guidance to nations seeking to adapt to climactic changes, or by providing early warning of emerging environmental challenges.
"Norway is partnering with UNEP in the true spirit of multilateralism," said Mr. Steiner, "they are not only the largest supporter of UNEP in financial terms, it is also one of its most trusted and valuable partners as we strive for an equitable and environmentally sustainable world."