UNEP has also been active in funding and implementing environmentally related development projects.

Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.

The mandate and objectives of UNEP emanate from United Nations General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972 and subsequent amendments adopted at UNCED in 1992, the Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of UNEP, adopted at the Nineteenth Session of the UNEP Governing Council, and the Malm Ministerial Declaration of .

Its activities cover a wide range of issues regarding the atmosphere, marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

It has played a significant role in developing international environmental conventions, promoting environmental science and information and illustrating the way those can work in conjunction with policy, working on the development and implementation of policy with national governments and regional institution and working in conjunction with environmental Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) coordinates United Nations environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and encourages sustainable development through sound environmental practices.

It was founded as a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in June 1972 and has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.UNEP also has six regional offices and various country offices.UNEP is the designated authority of the United Nations system in environmental issues at the global and regional level.UNEP's current Executive Director is Achim Steiner, who succeeded previous director Klaus Tpfer in 2006.Dr Tpfer served two consecutive terms, beginning in February 1998.On 15 March 2006, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan (currently Ban Ki Moon), nominated Achim Steiner, former Director General of the IUCN to the position of Executive Director.