Press Release

UNU and EMG Partner to Accelerate Collective Action on Environment and Human Settlement Issues

A new collaboration agreement aims to advance knowledge on protecting the environment and enhance human well-being.

Growing demand for natural resources is straining the planet and populations in increasingly intricate ways. The systemic nature of today’s environmental challenges requires academia, policy circles, industry, and civil society to join forces and take an integrated approach to finding solutions.

A new Letter of Agreement (LoA) between the United Nations University (UNU) and the United Nations Environment Management Group (EMG) provides a framework of cooperation and understanding for exactly this type of integrated approach. The agreement will facilitate collaboration to further shared goals of advancing and disseminating knowledge for protecting and sustaining environmental and human health.

UNU is a global think tank and postgraduate teaching organisation that contributes, through collaborative research and education, to efforts to resolve the pressing global problems of human survival, development, and welfare. EMG is a UN inter-agency coordination body on environment and human settlements that identifies, and initiates cooperative responses to, international environmental issues.

The new LoA solidifies ongoing cooperation between UNU and EMG to achieve their common objectives in the fields of sustainable development and environmental resources management. It will support the organisations in streamlining greener policies and strengthening sustainability strategies.

The leadership of UNU and EMG welcomed the new LoA at a Nexus Dialogue on Food System Resilience through Integrated Natural Resource Management, co-organised by EMG and UNU-FLORES on 7 June 2021. The event, a Food Systems Summit 2021 Independent Dialogue, is among the first collaborative initiatives that strengthen the science-policy interface around EMG’s UN System-wide work on the Sustainable Development Goals, and particularly on topics relevant to the Resource Nexus.

Welcoming the partnership, UNU Rector and UN Under-Secretary-General Dr David M. Malone emphasised that: “The environmental concerns we see today are complex and, as the recent COVID-19 pandemic has revealed, we need serious efforts in closing the gap between science and policy. This collaboration consolidates the vital and unique position of UNU as the academic arm of the United Nations to support global efforts to build back stronger and greener.”

EMG Head of Office-Geneva, Hossein Fadaei, observed that: “Solidifying cooperation with UNU is an important step towards broadening and linking the academic network and partners to support the work of EMG and the Nexus Dialogues.”

UNU-FLORES Director, Prof. Edeltraud Guenther, nominated as the Senior Focal Point for the UNU / EMG partnership, noted that: “It is essential for UN agencies to learn from each other and draw upon one another’s strengths to create meaningful and long-lasting policy impact. We are thrilled to work alongside EMG to promote a green United Nations and to advance the Resource Nexus for sustainable development.” 

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