UNEP-GRID - Gateway Antarctica - University of Canterbury - New Zealand


United Nations Environment Programme – Global Resource Information Database

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was established in 1972 by the UN General Assembly with a mandate “to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations”.

In 1992 the UN Conference on Environment & Development adopted “Agenda 21”, highlighting two needs in implementing this mandate: 

  • the provision of access to reliable environment information
  • increasing the capacity of governments to use such information and as a basis for environmental decision making and management.

The UNEP - GRID is a global network of centres, co-operating to facilitate access to environmental information through data collection, analysis and dissemination. UN organisations, government and regional agencies, policy makers, scientific institutions and the general public all use this information.

UNEP – GRID Christchurch was established in 1996 through a joint agreement between the New Zealand Government and UNEP, with an objective to assume responsibility for the Antarctic and southern ocean regions, within UNEP – GRID and Agenda 21, in co-ordination with GRID – Arendal in Norway. Management of UNEP – GRID Christchurch was handed over to the University of Canterbury in 1999, to form part of Gateway Antarctica, the University’s Centre for Antarctic studies and research.

Click here for a report (pdf. 527KB) prepared in response to UN General Assembly resolution 49/80 of 15 December 1994 on the “Question of Antarctica”, in which the Assembly calls for a report on the information supplied by the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Parties on their activities in Antarctica (collaborative report involving GRID – Christchurch).

Contact for UNEP – GRID Christchurch – email gateway-antarctica@canterbury.ac.nz