Sustainable development and governance
New Zealand plays a part in a number of international organisations working in different ways to protect and improve the environment.
- United Nations Environment Programme
- United Nations Division for Sustainable Development
- Global Environment Facility
- Organisation for Economic Development
- Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
- Pacific organisations
- Climate Change organisations
New Zealand is a member of UNEP, the leading global authority on the environment. UNEP meetings are an opportunity for global discussions on international environmental issues and to set the direction of the international environmental agenda.
UNEP provides information on the state of the global environment including the Global Environment Outlook (external link) and also plays an important role in international negotiations on Multilateral Environment Agreements, often acting as the secretariat to a number of these.
New Zealand was a founding member of UNEP, and now participates in its governing body, the United Nations Environment Assembly.
The DSD promotes and coordinates the UN’s sustainable development agenda. It supports initiatives such as the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Brazil in 2012, and the Third International Conference of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) held in Samoa in September 2014. New Zealand was an active participant in both conferences, and provided extensive logistical and other support for hosting the SIDS meeting in Samoa.
As a developed country, New Zealand contributes to the financing and governing of the Global Environment Facility. The GEF is an international body that funds activities that address global environmental issues in developing countries, including in the Pacific. Activities may involve addressing climate change, improving biological diversity, chemicals management, sustainable land management and managing international waters.
New Zealand's representation on the GEF Governing Council is as part of a regional group including Australia and South Korea.
New Zealand participates in the OECD’s Environment Policy Committee and other working groups. The committee collects and analyses data and provides expertise and policy advice to help governments address environmental challenges. It also carries out performance reviews, the last one for New Zealand being in 2017.
IPBES is the leading international body for assessing the declining state of the planet's biodiversity and ecosystems, and how this affects people’s well-being. It was set up in 2012 and is open to all members of the UN. New Zealand has been actively involved with IPBES since it was established in 2011. We attend conferences and regularly provide comment on scientific and implementation issues. The Department of Conservation is the lead agency working with IPBES on behalf of New Zealand.
New Zealand also works with or participates in the:
- Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (external link), which works to protect the Pacific environment and ensure sustainable development
- Pacific Islands Applied Geoscience Commission (external link), which uses earth sciences to improve the livelihoods of Pacific Islanders in a sustainable way.
New Zealand participates in many other environmental forums that relate specifically to climate change.