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Closer Cooperation on Climate Change Agreed Between UNEP and Finland

A strengthened relationship between Finland and UNEP was announced today with new agreements signed in areas including pollution prevention, climate change, air quality monitoring and education.

Helsinki/Nairobi, 13 May 2003 - A strengthened relationship between Finland and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was announced today with new agreements signed in areas including pollution prevention, climate change, air quality monitoring and education.

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP’s Executive Director, concluded three signings with the Finnish Environment Institute, the Finnish Meteorological Organization and the University of Joensuu.

The agreements, which came during a two-day visit to Finland which included meetings with Jan-Erik Enestam, the Finnish Environment Minister, will boost UNEP’s ability to deliver its work programme on behalf of Governments. They will also assist in the delivery of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation agreed at the World Summit on Sustainable Development last year.

“I am delighted to announce these closer ties between these key Finnish institutions which in turn will bring improved capabilities to UNEP now and over the coming years. Finland has been a staunch and faithful supporter of this organization. These three agreements go to further underline the importance of that support for our continued work, for our continued ability to deliver on our motto Environment for Development,” he said.

The agreement with the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), signed by Mr Toepfer and Dr Lea Kauppi, the institute’s Director-General, covers cooperation and assistance in a wide range of fields. These include support for UNEP’s programme of work on water, wildlife, climate change, wastes, chemicals and environmental information systems.

New cooperation with the Finnish Meteorological Office, signed with its Director -General Professor Petteri Taalas, covers UNEP’s work on climate change including assisting developing countries to develop improved abilities to model the likely impacts of global warming.

The agreement, signed with the University of Joensuu’s Rector Perttu Vartiainen, aims to encourage the exchange of ideas, information technology and staff and students between Northern and Southern institutions of higher education to promote the global sustainable development agenda.

The University will focus on areas including forests and the environment, rural development and the interaction of cultures, while working with key partners such as the University of Namibia in Namibia, the University of natal, South Africa and Tumaini University in Tanzania.

For More Information Please Contact Eric Falt, UNEP Spokesman/Director of the Division of Communications and Public Information, on Tel: 254 2 623292, Mobile: 254 (0) 733 682656, E-mail: or Nick Nuttall, UNEP Head of Media, on Tel: 254 2 623084, Mobile: 254 (0) 733 632755, E-mail:

UNEP News Release 2003/24



Tuesday 13 May 2003
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