Press releases

Monday 21 Jun 2004

UNEP announces first major partner for its youth and children’s programme

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced a one million Euro per annum partnership with German-based chemicals and healthcare company Bayer AG to support its global long-term strategy to involve young people in environmental issues.

Nairobi/Bangkok  21 June, 2004 – The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced a one million Euro per annum partnership with German-based chemicals and healthcare company Bayer AG to support its global long-term strategy to involve young people in environmental issues.

Called ‘Tunza’, meaning to treat with care or affection in the east African language of Kiswahili, the strategy aims to engage young people in the work of UNEP and enhance their participation in environment and sustainable development issues.

Approved by UNEP’s Governing Council in February 2003, the strategy outlines activities and events at the sub-regional, regional and global levels to be implemented for a six-year period. These activities and events include the annual Tunza international conferences for both children and youth, and flagship publications such as the “Tunza: Acting for a Better World” book and the quarterly Tunza magazine for youth.

UNEP and Bayer have collaborated on projects in the Asia and Pacific region for nearly a decade, organizing competitions for World Environment Day, and providing opportunities for young people to participate in environmental study tours and international learning forums, such as last year’s Eco-Innovate 03, in Sydney, Australia at the University of New South Wales.

“I am delighted that Bayer has joined us in the vital task of reaching out to young people. The Tunza strategy challenged us to find partners in the private sector, so this is a significant first step,” said UNEP Executive Director Mr. Klaus Toepfer.

“Young people offer a keen, fresh perspective, which calls us to act with honesty and courage to safeguard the natural world. This partnership will help young people take the stage in environmental awareness raising and decision-making,” Mr. Toepfer said.

Mr. Toepfer and Chairman of the Board of Managment of Bayer AG, Mr Werner Wenning signed the agreement today, in a ceremony at Bayer’s headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany.

Under the agreement UNEP and Bayer will create a steering committee to develop projects to be implemented under the partnership. Identified projects include continuation of the Young Environmental Envoy Programme, further development of the Eco-Innovate learning forum, a youth-orientated media award, World Environment day activities in Europe and Latin America, and support for sub-regional youth networks in Asia-Pacific, based on the successful South Asia Youth Environmental Network (ww.sayen.org).

Under the agreement Bayer will participate in the Global Reporting Initiative, an independent institution supported by UNEP, which provides companies with globally applicable Sustainability Reporting Guidelines on the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of their activities, products, and services.

Bayer is also a founder member of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Global Compact, which encourages companies and other stakeholders to work with the UN to achieve human rights, labour and environmental goals.

The partnership agreement is for three years.

UNEP News Release 2004/28


For more information:  Details of UNEP’s TUNZA strategy is available from
http://www.unep.org/children_youth/tunza/about.htm

Or contact:  Eric Falt, Spokesperson/Director of UNEP's Division of Communications and Public Information, on Tel: 254 20 623292, Mobile: 254 (0) 733 682656, E-mail: eric.falt@unep.org or Nick Nuttall, UNEP Head of Media, on Tel: 254 20 623084, Mobile: +82 (0) 18 696 4195, E-mail: nick.nuttall@unep.org; or Tim Higham, Regional Information Officer, UNEP, Bangkok, on Tel +66 2 288 2127, Mobile +66 9 1283803, E-mail higham@un.org.

Monday 21 Jun 2004
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