Verification and monitoring of the environment and sustainable development

The programme’s environment activities throughout 2016-2019 are expected to focus mainly on the areas highlighted below:

Sustainable development

In October 2015, the United Nations adopted a new development agenda, including new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These are successors to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The SDGs will not be legally binding, but their integration with the implementation of legally binding agreements, for example on climate change and biodiversity, will have important cross-cutting consequences. Multilateral environmental agreements are expected to support the implementation of the SDGs and vice versa.

The monitoring and reporting framework for the SDGs will be essential for their success, but it also raises challenges, especially for developing countries, already in many cases overburdened with international reporting requirements. The programme will explore the SDGs, the emerging monitoring and reporting requirements and the implementation issues these raise, in particular for developing countries.


The programme will continue to support the Sustainable Tropics Alliance on efforts to reduce deforestation and develop a sustainable, low emission model for rural development in the tropics.

Climate change

The international climate regime is becoming increasingly complex. The programme will identify a limited number of topics, such as the new transparency framework, where it can share its experience and expertise to assist countries and other stakeholders in meeting the challenges of the Paris Agreement.