A Global Hub for Environmental Governance

Geneva is a global hub for international environmental governance. Important and strategic environmental negotiations and preparations, including historical meetings, have taken place in the region for more than 50 years. Geneva is also the place where numerous intergovernmental organizations, permanent governmental missions, NGOs, platforms, academic institutions and other stakeholders contributing to the global environmental agenda are based. Geneva is, therefore, an ideal location to reinforce and develop synergies among all these actors.

“Geneva – the operational hub of multilateral diplomacy – provides the foundation for our work, which is built on the need to bridge cultures, to develop a network of both traditional and non-traditional partners, as we address the world’s most significant social, economic, and environmental challenges.”
– US Ambassador Pamela Hamamoto, 2016

In order to support Geneva as an international centre of competence for the environment, in support to the Nairobi hub where the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is located, Switzerland and the Canton of Geneva inaugurated the International Environment House in 1999.

Geneva Environment Network

The Geneva Environment Network (GEN) is a cooperative partnership of more than 100 environmental and sustainable development organizations based at the International Environment House in Geneva and at other locations in the surrounding region. Established in 1999, GEN is the oldest of the thematic platforms of International Geneva, specialized in conducting multilateral activities, conferences and other events, and promoting awareness on environmental issues. The Secretariat is supported by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment and is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme.

Key Areas and SDGs

The environmental organizations based in Geneva have expertise in different fields and work towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


Geneva and its surrounding area have been active in global environmental governance for more than 50 years. In addition, important and strategic historical meetings have taken place in the region.