31 March 2006 marks the last day in office of UNEP’s Executive Director, Klaus Toepfer. Mr Toepfer, who has headed the organization for eight years since February 1998, has presided over a period in UNEP’s history that has seen environmental sustainability become front page news and central to international development goals.
Mr. Toepfer is known internationally for his commitment to sustainable development, and for fighting for the cause of the developing world. Among the milestones of his tenure are a number of important environmental agreements, including the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, which addresses issue of genetically modified organisms, and the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
Mr. Toepfer was also closely involved in behind-the-scenes negotiations in support of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, which entered into force in February 2005 after Russia’s ratification papers were handed to the UN Secretary-General at UNEP headquarters in November 2004.
Click here for the full Press Release at UNEP.org