Meeting international environmental commitments

We work to ensure that international efforts to meet environmental obligations are efficient and effective.

Multilateral Environmental Agreements are one of the most effective ways in which governments of the world meet environmental commitments to protecting biodiversity, safely managing chemicals and waste, sustainably managing land, and mitigating and adapting to climate change. 

At UN Environment we provide capacity building services, policy advice and technical assistance to up to 196 countries through conventions that administer multiple multilateral environmental agreements, like the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management. By encouraging improved cooperation among multilateral environmental agreements we are seeing efforts being combined to increase efficiencies, and conserve the human and financial resources of implementing countries. We refer to this as leveraging synergies.

  • We improve environmental coherence across the UN System
  • We encourage the greening of the UN system
  • We promote synergies across multilateral environment agreements
  • We further embed environmental objectives into Sustainable Development Goal implementation
  • We influence and promote the uptake of environmental policy approaches by other agencies

Leveraging Synergies

By coordinating activities, pooling resources and sharing information across environmental conventions countries can maximize the results and impacts of their efforts to meet environmental commitments in the most efficient ways possible.

International Synergies (Our Role)

Chemicals and Waste (Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm conventions)


  • We deliver joint-activities on technical assistance
  • We coordinate the use of Regional Centres
  • We share managerial functions

Biodiversity, Biosafety and Access and Benefit Sharing


Endangered Species and Migratory Species


Wetlands and Biodiversity



  • We use joint Information tools and systems such as InforMEA - to provide information from over 60 international environment agreements under dozens of conventions to 192 countries.

National Synergies

  • At the National level we work with countries to ensure that their efforts to meet environmental commitments are aligned across multiple environmental agreements. By 2016 over 186 countries prepared National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans as part of their efforts to meet the Global or 'Aichi' Biodiversity Targets. UN Environment worked with many of these countries to ensure that their national biodiversity goals and objectives aligned with the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals, and other conventions including the Ramsar convention on Wetlands and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna.

Synergies in Action

  • In Bahrain the synergies process has helped to create greater awareness of the significance of national efforts to achieving much bigger global development objectives. It has also helped the government to identify 20 previously unknown species at the same time as developing a clear plan to better protect their wetlands from land reclamation, while also mapping the steps necessary to enhance measures to conserve their marine protected areas.  By actively seeking to identifying and leverage synergies across environmental conventions, countries can achieve multiple objectives with fewer resources and greater efficiency.

Key Multilateral Environmental Agreements