UNEP Law Division


2020- Present



UNEP has the comparative advantage of hosting 15 Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and maintains an administrative and programmatic collaboration relationship with them. Whilst fully respecting their legal autonomy, UNEP’s programmatic work is supportive of MEA objectives and decisions, assisting Member States in their respective implementation. UNEP is supporting the coherent implementation of MEAs and promotes synergies within and across the MEAs clusters, including non-UNEP administered MEAs. The UNEP-administered MEAs welcome the convening role of UNEP in bringing them together to discuss strategic planning, implementation, and cooperation at various levels.


According to the new UNEP medium-term strategy (2022-2025), “Collaboration with the MEAs will be central to all actions across the UNEP subprogrammes to secure stronger synergies and enhance impact.  Complementing national legislation and bilateral agreements, MEAs form the overarching international legal basis for global efforts to address environmental issues.  Partnership with the MEAs will continue to be a cornerstone of UNEP support provided to countries to implement the 2030 Agenda.”  The new MTS will provide an umbrella for the coming years to strengthen UNEP’s cooperation with the MEAs to support effective implementation of the conventions.

In November-December 2020, UNEP and the Center for Governance and Sustainability at UMass Boston offered the first online course on the implementation of selected MEAs (CMS, CITES, Ramsar, BRS and Minamata Conventions). This course was open to government representatives from countries in East Africa and The Gambia. Thirty-seven people from five countries (Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, The Gambia, and Uganda) took part in the four-modules interactive learning experience, which allowed to deliver a training program on implementation and to identify specific concerns of parties to the MEAs, especially developing countries.


The project will build on the analysis of the experience and the feedback received from the participants in this first online course held in 2020 described above.



Project/Programme objectives to which the small-scale funding contributes.


  • To further strengthen UNEP’s support for the effective implementation of selected MEAs

  • To foster the enabling conditions for innovative and sustainable solutions across scales, geographies, and political and economic contexts through sharing of ideas and experiences by the MEA focal points, engagement with MEA Secretariats and key players in the field of environmental governance.

Creating Communities of Practice