United Nations Environment Progamme (UNEP) Vienna Office Interim
    Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention

    Taking Care of the Mountains and UNEP's Gateway to South Eastern Europe

    About UNEP and its office in Vienna

    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the voice for the environment in the United Nations system. It is an advocate, educator, catalyst and facilitator, promoting the wise use of the planet's natural assets for sustainable development. UNEP's mission is "to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations".

    The UNEP Vienna office is responsible for mountain activities and the International Partnership for Sustainable Development in Mountain Regions (Mountain Partnership) as well as for the coordination of UNEP programme delivery in South Eastern Europe. UNEP Vienna, as part of the regional office for Europe, supports liaison with organizations based in Vienna and the region.

    Protecting the Carpathian Mountains and facilitating sustainable regional development

    The Framework Convention on the Protection and Sustainable Development of the Carpathians is an international agreement between the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine. UNEP services the Interim Secretariat of the Framework Convention, which is hosted by Austria in the Vienna International Centre since 2004. Since the beginning of the Carpathian process, Austria and its Ministry of the Environment has been actively supporting the Carpathian Convention (so to say the younger sister of the Convention for the Protection of the Alps). UNEP Vienna, together with 19 partners in the region, carried out the Carpathian Project and coordinates the development of follow-up projects.

    The Mountain Partnership

    UNEP Vienna is the global Environmental Reference Centre (ERC) of the Mountain Partnership. The Mountain Partnership is a voluntary alliance of national governments, intergovernmental organizations, local and regional authorities, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, the academic community and other major group representatives who are working together to improve livelihoods, conservation and stewardship throughout the world's mountain landscapes


    UNEP, through its Vienna Office, together with the Regional Environmental Centre for the Caucasus-facilitates cooperation between the countries of the Caucasus-including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Russia and Turkey, for sustainable mountain development.

    Dinaric Arc and Balkans

    UNEP Vienna coordinates UNEP programme delivery in the following priority areas:

    • Climate change
    • Disasters and conflict
    • Ecosystem management
    • Resource efficiency
    • Hazardous substances

    With the support of Italy, UNEP, and particularly its Vienna Office, is fostering a consultation process between the countries of South Eastern Europe on a legal framework for the sustainable development of the Dinaric Arc and Balkans, involving Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, UNEP is also carrying out the Dinaric Arc and Balkans Environment Outlook (DABEO).

    UNEP Gateway to South Eastern Europe

    Through the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) of UNEP, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe (REC) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), UNEP created a solid perspective and basis for UNEP engagement with and support to the South East European region. The ENVSEC Initiative in South Eastern Europe (SEE) is supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), focusing on the trans-boundary cooperation in mountain protected areas, and the risk reduction from mining pollution hotspots.

    UNEP Vienna is partner of a project financed by Spain through the Millennium Development Goal Funds (MDGF) in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The approved joint programme is designed to address and overcome the significant barriers faced in effectively delivering environmental services and management at the local level in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    UNEP Vienna is a partner in the UN's One Country Programme in Albania, which enhances development results and impact by bringing together the comparative advantages of the UN system within a single strategic programme. UNEP is the leader of the country team working group on the environment outcome, including promotion of investments in clean technology, conservation of energy and efficient use of natural resources

    For information contact:

    Maria Emilie Lichem
    United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)-Regional Office for Europe-Vienna Office
    Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention

    UNEP Vienna Office
    Vienna International Centre
    Room E0481, PO Box 500, 1400 Vienna, Austria
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-5338
    Fax: (+43-1) 26060-7-5338
    Email: maria-emilie.lichem@unvienna.org