I am pleased to extend greetings to all participants at this 20th anniversary seminar of GRID-Arendal, a key partner of the United Nations Environment Programme. GRID-Arendal is bridging the gap between science and policy while serving as a model of climate neutrality by following the UN’s “Kick the Habit” guidelines.
I thank the Government of Norway for its visionary thinking in establishing GRID-Arendal twenty years ago. It serves as a model of how a non-profit organization, with strong government backing, can make an effective contribution to the United Nations system. During my visit to Norway next week, I plan to learn more about the country’s many valuable initiatives to address climate change.
I wish you a most successful seminar, and look forward to strengthening our partnership in the future.
Ban-Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The inauguration of GRID-Arendal 20 years ago is something I remember very well. Those of us who were there were part of something important. GRID-Arendal was an institution different from all others, and a central element in the follow-up of the World Commission on Environment and Development.
GRID-Arendal has been a success because you have provided scientific evidence as a basis for action. In a situation where the world is facing a potential climate crisis, this role is more important than ever. I will encourage you to continue to present facts which will help world leaders, businesses, consumers and voters to make the right decisions.
Gro Harlem Brundtland
Reliable information is of key importance to effective environmental protection. GRID Arendal’s consistent gathering, analysis and dissemination of quality environmental information over 20 years has made important knowledge accessible and useful. This is something to be proud of. Congratulations!
I want to congratulate GRID-Arendal for 20 years of environmental services. Over the years, I have personally benefited from the environmental information and mapping produced by UNEP’s office in Arendal.
While I was Minister of Environment I often used the analyses GRID prepared on the climatic developments in the Arctic. This documentation has hopefully contributed to an increased focus on the serious consequences climate change has on the polar ice melting. Through the Red Cross, I observe on a daily basis the humanitarian consequences of environmental degradation. The early warning scenarios GRID provides has over the years become more and more important for policy-making.
Børge Brende, former Minister of Environment (2001-2004), currently CEO of the Norwegian Red Cross
Through the years, GRID-Arendal has built up an important and invigorating competence in Arendal.
This has contributed to increased attention towards key environmental issues. GRID-Arendal’s environmental activities and products have been of great significance for many countries, organizations and UN institutions. Contact with GRID-Arendal renders inspiration, enhanced knowledge and increased commitment within the realms of environment.
Congratulations with your 20th anniversary. All the best of wishes for the future.
Helen Bjørnøy, former Minister of Environment (2005-2007)
’Think globally and act locally’. This was a main message from the World Commission on Environment and Development. This is the only true path leading to a sustainable future. Broad access to scientifically-based knowledge is a crucial qualification to ensure success in the task of such a rescue operation. That is why GRID-Arendal was established 20 years ago.
Thank you for your valuable contributions so far. Keep going in the same direction. Play your role in helping all decision-makers in the ‘global village’ to make sustainable choices – and make it uncomfortable to refrain from this.
Sissel Rønbeck, former Minister of Environment (1986-1989)
Best wishes for your 20th anniversary!
As Minister of Environment for seven years, starting the year after GRID-Arendal was established, I had the opportunity over a considerable length of time to follow the foundation’s developments. During my time as cabinet minister, the UN flag was raised for the first time in Norway – something that made me enormously proud. Also from my tenure as Minister, I would like to convey a special greeting to Svein Tveitdal whose energetic contributions were invaluable and significant in setting up GRID-Arendal within the UN system.
Torbjørn Berntsen, former Minister of Environment
As Mayor of Arendal, I am incredibly proud that GRID-Arendal is located in our city.
You have established a strong international network within environmental spheres and especially within the UN. This grants us an important status as an environmental city and has contributed to placing Arendal on the global map of environmental politics.
As GRID-Arendal represents the largest UN-activity in Norway, you have also played an important role in the development of Arendal as a UN-city. This we are very proud of.
Congratulations with your 20th anniversary, and best wishes for the continuation of your important activities.
Torill Rolstad Larsen, Mayor of Arendal
We are proud and happy to host Norway’s largest UN office in our county’s capital city. GRID-Arendal’s location has meant a lot for the development of climate and environmental initiatives within the county and also within the county administration. We are Norway’s first climate-neutral county administration. GRID-Arendal will continue to play a major role in the further development of a sustainable society. The county of Aust-Agder has over the years financially contributed to GRID-Arendal’s operation, and we are now also contributing to the UN-city project ‘Climate Partner Network’. We look forward to our future cooperation.
Congratulations with your 20th anniversary!
Laila Øygaraden, Aust-Agder County Mayor