Environment Fund

The Environment Fund is our core source of flexible funds, provided by our Member States. The Fund provides the bedrock for our work worldwide, as we support countries to deliver on the environmental dimensions of the 2030 Agenda.

The Environment Fund is used for:

  • Implementation of our seven thematic sub-programmes;
  • Keeping the environment under review. For example, our flagship scientific publications such as the Global Environment Outlook, the Global Chemicals Outlook and the Emissions Gap Report translate the best available scientific knowledge into information relevant for decision makers, who then can turn policy into action;
  • Identification of new emerging environmental issues (such as through our Frontiers-series);
  • Our work on several science-policy platforms that bring together scientists, governments, industrial and international organizations, and civil society;
  • Innovation for addressing environmental challenges;
  • Advocacy and awareness raising on environmental issues;
  • Capacity building and transfer of technological innovations;
  • Results-based planning and management;
  • Bringing together governments, the private sector and civil society in advancing the global environmental agenda, for example through the UN Environment Assembly;
  • Robust oversight.

In 2018, the Environment Fund provided USD 67.9 million, or 16 per cent, of our total income. Of the Fund, 85 per cent is used for the seven thematic sub-programmes. The rest supports strategic direction, management and programme support, which are critical for implementing the organisation's vision and ensuring robust oversight and delivery.

Since 2012, UN Environment's membership encompasses all 193 UN Member States, who are responsible for funding our programme. In 2018, 90 Member States contributed to the UN Environment Programme. As the success of our work highly depends on the contributions made, we encourage all Member States to contribute their fair share to our Environment Fund. Currently, the top-15 funding partners provide around 90 percent of the income.

pie chart with top-15 donors and others

What is each Member State's "fair share" of the Environment Fund?

The "fair share" that each Member State is encouraged to contribute to the Environment Fund is represented by the Voluntary Indicative Scale of Contributions (VISC) . The VISC was established in 2002 by the seventh special session of the UN Environment Programme Governing Council. The aim of the VISC is to broaden the base of contributions and to enhance predictability in the voluntary financing of the Environment Fund. 

The VISC is based on the UN scale of assessment, but also takes into account other criteria, such as each Member State's economic and social circumstances, previous high levels of contributions etc. Based on these criteria, the VISC proposes the percentage that each Member State could contribute to the UN Environment Programme's Environment Fund. 

We appreciate Member States who lead the way with multi-year commitments to the Environment Fund, such as Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands.



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