The United Nations Environment Programme's Regional Office for North America (RONA), established in Washington, D.C. in October 2000, is one of six regional offices that make up UNEP’s Division of Regional Cooperation (DRC). DRC works to ensure that UNEP global programs satisfactorily address regional needs and priorities. DRC also works to enhance cooperation among governments in each region in addressing environmental issues strategically and effectively.
The North American region comprises Canada and the United States of America — two of the three largest countries in the world. RONA monitors and uses the valuable work, scientific knowledge, technologies and other products of the region's government agencies, academic institutions, businesses, environmental think tanks, and advocacy and inter-governmental organizations. RONA works closely with all of these to help bring their technological, financial and intellectual resources to the benefit of the global environment.
RONA’s mission is to promote effective responses to international environmental challenges, and to foster cooperation on environmental issues between North America and the broader international community. To achieve this mission, RONA’s strategy is to promote collaboration between UNEP and all sectors of North American society, including U.S. and Canadian governmental institutions, the private sector and civil society groups. The main elements of the strategy are:
- Promoting inter-linkages at the political level, by informing UNEP Headquarters about relevant environmental developments in North America and advising on the appropriate strategy thereto;
- Keeping governments of the region informed of and engaged in UNEP’s work;
- Developing new North American partnerships and adding North American contributors to existing UNEP partnerships, thereby engaging the technological, intellectual and financial resources of the region to serve UNEP’s work around world;
- Facilitating contacts with the private sector to increase participation by North American institutions in UNEP’s industry-specific initiatives and programmes;
- Mobilizing the dynamic North American-based NGO sector to encourage them to take a more active role in UNEP’s policy processes and overall activities;
- Enhancing the profile of UNEP in North America through outreach, including:
- Fostering the active participation of the region in various UNEP-sponsored global events, expanding environmental education activities, and;
- Organizing targeted awareness-raising campaigns and press conferences for the general public.
UNEP offers a wide range of technical guidelines and resources for governments, policy-makers, civil society, private sector and the public at large.
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