Russia and UNEP Sign Agreement to Strengthen Partnership

The partnership between the Russian Federation and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was strengthened today with the signing of a bilateral agreement, covering priority areas such as the conservation of biological diversity, addressing the environmental aspects of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, and the environmental challenges facing the Arctic.

The agreement was signed by UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, Sergey Donskoy.

"UNEP welcomes the opportunity to further strengthen and develop our longstanding partnership with the Russian Federation. The programmes and priorities in the agreement signed today provide new focus and momentum for addressing environmental issues in the context of Russia's future economic development," said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director.

With the signing of the agreement, UNEP and the Russian Federation will cooperate to also support shared environmental protection priorities such as:

  • support to the development of the "green economy";
  • the application of "green standards" and of ecologically safe best available technologies;
  • water resources management, protection of water bodies, marine and coastal environment from the adverse anthropogenic impact;
  • regulation of the use of chemicals, utilization and processing of wastes;
  • cooperation for the purposes of the further implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-Building, making use of the Russian expert potential;
  • sustainable production and consumption;
  • informing and raising public awareness on environmental protection issues;
  • assistance to the implementation of environmental agreements and programmes.

Russia has been both a longstanding partner and donor to UNEP. Last year, the Russian Federation increased its contribution to the UNEP Environment Fund to US$1.5 million in 2013 and 2014.

"The increased funding is a vote of confidence in UNEP's ability to achieve results, whether by working with UN agencies to mainstream environmental sustainability into development policies or by providing guidance to nations on their environmental challenges," added Mr. Steiner.

UNEP has also been designated as the Programme Coordination Agency for the Arctic Agenda 2020, a Russian-government project, co-funded by the Global Environment Facility and the Russian Federation, for protecting the Arctic region. The Programme, launched in 2011, aims to improve the sustainable development of the Arctic and meet the challenges of the region's rapidly changing climate. The initiative addresses energy efficiency, renewable energy development, protected areas, and transboundary marine systems, among other issues.

In 2008, UNEP was invited by the Russian Government and the Organizing Committee of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games to provide guidance on the integration of environmental considerations in the preparation and staging of the Winter Games. Last year, UNEP and partners proposed close to 90 projects designed to minimize the impact of infrastructure developments around the Sochi National Park area, where the Games will take place.

For more information, please contact:

Nick Nuttall, Director, UNEP Division of Communications and Public Information, on +254 733 632 755 /+41 79 596 5737, E-mail: