Being one of the centres of global environmental cooperation, Geneva is the home of over a hundred environmental organizations and agencies. The Permanent Mission takes part in this cooperation by attending various meetings and multilateral negotiations. The Mission is also engaged in close cooperation with the Ministry of the Environment which bears the main responsibility for international cooperation in this sector.
The International Environment House IEH is the main centre for multilateral environmental cooperation in Geneva. It has gathered in its premises a range of UN agencies and other organisations focusing on environmental protection and sustainable development. The largest of them is the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP which was founded in 1972. The Geneva office serves as UNEP´s Regional Office for Europe while the headquarters is situated in Nairobi. UNEP works in Geneva on such issues as the relations between multilateral trade and environment, the environmental impact of natural catastrophes and conflicts, and protection of seas and biosafety. Finland is one of main donors to UNEP's Environment Fund. Finland also contributes to the three international conventions on chemicals and waste management whose secretariats are located under the auspices of UNEP as well as to various environmental programmes such as the Environment and Security Initiative ENVSEC, which is coordinated from Geneva and which gathers together various international players.
Environmental cooperation forms an integral part of the work of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, UNECE. Located in the Palais des Nations, the UNECE´s Committee on Environmental Policy formulates environmental policy and supports its implementation in all the Member States. In addition, the Committee coordinates the Environment for Europe ministerial process which links environmental issues with broader themes. The Committee is also responsible for regional preparations of the UN Commission for Sustainable Development CSD. The objectives of environmental protection and sustainable development are included in the work of all UNECE subcommittees. Finland is a party of all environmental conventions of the UNECE and participates actively in the work of the Committee on Environmental Policy.
The most critical environmental challenge, climate change, forms an important part of the work of the World Meteorological Organization WMO. Founded in 1950, WMO coordinates international cooperation on earth, weather, climate and water resources. It organizes international conferences and meetings such as the Third World Climate Conference, which takes place in Geneva in August-September 2009. WMO also serves as the Secretariat for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC. In 2007, the IPCC and former Vice President of the United States, Al Gore, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Price. Related to climate change, the International Emissions Trading Association IETA is also located in Geneva.
Another current global environmental challenge, preservation of biological diversity, is one of the main concerns of the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN, which is located in Gland, by Lake Geneva. CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is administered by UNEP in the International Environment House.