UN Volunteers are experienced personnel available to support UN Environment’s mandate. They work within communities at the grassroots-level, making them well-placed to build community resilience to the impacts of climate change and support communities in the sustainable recovery from disasters and rehabilitating land following conflicts. As Policy Specialists, UN Volunteers also advance efforts by UN Environment to promote environmental governance and management, supporting programmes that advance the sustainable use of natural resources.
The title of ‘UN Volunteers’ reflects their incredible commitment, but probably does not do justice to their contribution. At every level of UN Environment, including my own team in the Executive Office, we count on UN Volunteers with a diverse mix of backgrounds, skills and experience to bring fresh ideas, a new perspective and endless enthusiasm. They don’t just help us to get the job done for the people and communities we serve; they make sure it’s done the best way possible. —Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment
UN Volunteers contribute to a number of projects that include engaging youth in volunteerism to promote Global South-South Development, revitalizing lands and agriculture of post-disaster societies in Nigeria, and encouraging communities in Ethiopia to think globally and act locally through environmental outreach progammes and advocacy.
Beginning in 1975, UNV partnered with UN Environment to recruit its first two UN Volunteers for their Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2014, a new Memorandum of Understanding was signed to strengthen the partnership. Today, UN Volunteers support UN Environment in building community resilience to climate change, reducing the environmental risks and impacts of crises, advancing ecosystem management and environmental governance, and improving inclusive participation and engagement of communities in their own development.