The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) have signed a new three-year agreement worth 195 million Swedish Krona (roughly US$18.7 million) from 2023-2025. UNEP will use these softly earmarked funds to implement its 2022-2025 Medium-Term Strategy ‘For People and Planet’.
The strategy is based on the latest science and highlights UNEP’s role – in collaboration with the multilateral environmental agreements – in achieving a vision of a future where humanity lives in harmony with nature on a pollution-free, climate-stable planet. It provides the blueprint for UNEP’s support to countries and other stakeholders to deliver on their promises under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“In an era of unprecedented environmental challenges, UNEPs ability to effectively deliver its mandate and accelerate efforts toward the 2030 Agenda is enabled by flexible, multi-year funding such as that provided by Sida. We are grateful for Sida’s continued commitment, collaboration, and support towards the SDGs in this critical UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration,” said Sonja Leighton-Kone, Acting Deputy Executive Director of UNEP and Director of, the Corporate Services Division.
Since the Stockholm Conference in 1972, hosted by Sweden, which led to the establishment of UNEP, Sweden and UNEP have had a strong partnership. Sweden has provided crucial political and financial support as a top contributor to UNEP’s Environment Fund and has championed the environment through its development assistance.
“The environmental challenges we are facing are more acute than ever, with impacts on the lives and livelihoods of marginalized and vulnerable communities, particularly in fragile and vulnerable regions and countries,” says Cecilia Scharp, Assistant Director-General at Sida. “UNEP plays a fundamental role as the global authority on the environment. We are therefore proud to renew and continue our partnership of flexible support.”
The agreement between UNEP and Sida also emphasizes the importance of efficiency by improving coordination and alignment between UNEP’s programs, results achieved through UNEP’s work, and coordination with other UN agencies on environmental issues in line with the UN Reform agenda.
This type of softly earmarked funding is crucial to UNEP as it allows the organization to deliver the much-needed environmental science, data, and policy advice that decision makers base their policies, legislations, and decisions on in delivering on their environmental mandates.
Examples of this are the recent State of Finance for Nature report, Emissions Gap Report 2022, and Adaptation Gap Report 2022, which were crucial pieces of evidence for the UN Climate Conference (COP27) negotiations calling for urgent system-wide transformation to limit greenhouse emissions by 2030 and financing actions required to accelerate nature-based solutions, adaptation and mitigation measures to combat the climate crisis.
Funding also assists UNEP in informing decision-makers on the outlook and trends of global environmental implications for human well-being and the achievement of the SDGs.env