Research project: A UN Specialized Agency for the Environment

The question of establishing an international organization for the protection of the environment is as old as the history of the development of international environmental law as a new subject of international law. The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), which was established through a decision by the United Nations Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972, was conceived as a minimum institutional arrangement. Since then, several initiatives have been taken to elevate the status of UNEP as an international organization. Among various options, the possibility of transforming UNEP into a specialized agency or simply establishing a new agency within the UN system has been discussed on different occasions. In this article, institutional needs in this area will be discussed and the option of a specialized agency within the UN system will be commented on. The article will be published in vol. 50 of Environmental Policy and Law (2020).

Professor Said Mahmoudi contact and bio