UNEP, science and the environment –a necessary partnership to save the planet

Raymond Saner & Lichia Yiu

The five legacy papers, Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future (2022), The People’s Environ-ment Narrative. pp 647-685, Utrecht, the Netherlands

This chapter provides an assessment of the current relation, interaction and importance of Science for the UN Environment Programme, UNEP, as a key enabler of its mandate to catalyze environmental policies, strategies and actions for the benefit of world citizens and the planet.

This review is based on semi-structured qualitative interviews with renowned international experts about their views on UNEP’s role and contributions to the international multilateral environmental system and on the emerging challenges and needs of knowledge production through science. Highlights will be given to exemplify the impact of proposed policy choices, the monitoring mechanisms created to track scientific knowledge - how it got translated and popularized - since UNEP’s inception in 1972. Observations made by these experts on UNEP’s challenges and shortfalls will also be reported. The authors conclude with recommendations on how UNEP could strengthen its science-policy-society interface and strengthen its role as key international advocate and custodian of sustained environmental development through effective science-policy-society dialogue and mutual learning.