About the Montevideo Environmental Law Programme

In March 2019, the UN Environment Assembly adopted the Fifth Montevideo Programme for the Development and Periodic Review of Environmental Law (the Montevideo Environmental Law Programme), which commenced in January 2020. The Montevideo Environmental Law Programme is a ten-year intergovernmental programme on promoting, implementing, and strengthening environmental rule of law worldwide. UNEP is the Secretariat of the programme.

More information about the Montevideo Environmental Law Programme and its previous editions can be found on its dedicated website.

Download the full Montevideo Environmental Law Programme V: العربية | English | Español | Français | Русский | 中文

Please also see the Programme's brochure and the factsheet for national focal points (العربية | English | Español | Français | Русский | 中文).


Objectives of the Montevideo Environmental Law Programme

The programme’s vision is to promote the development and implementation of environmental rule of law, strengthen the related capacities in countries, and contribute to the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To achieve this, the program has six objectives supported by nine strategic activities. The Montevideo Environmental Law Programme is implemented by UNEP with the strategic guidance of a Steering Committee for Implementation and a global network of National Focal Points designated by each Member State. This global network on environmental law is complemented by strong partnerships with stakeholders for implementation. The programme partners with, inter alia, academia, civil society, the private sector, secretariats of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, UN agencies, and Intergovernmental Organizations. Please click here for more information about the Partner of the Programme initiative.

What is the Law and Environment Assistance Platform (UNEP-LEAP)?

The Law and Environment Assistance Platform (UNEP-LEAP) is the digital backbone of the Programme. This coordination and delivery platform allows Member States to directly request support from UNEP and partners. Moreover, it provides a comprehensive and searchable knowledge base of relevant environmental legislation, cases, model laws, and other guidance products. The platform has the following core sections:

A. Clearing House Mechanism. Member States and other stakeholders can use the online form to submit requests for support under the Montevideo Environmental Law Programme.

B. Knowledge Base and Global Search Feature. Provides access to environmental laws, cases, resources, tools, guidance, reports, model laws, toolkits and other products developed under the Montevideo Environmental Law Programme or relevant to its activities.

C. Country Profiles Section. Including case studies, activities requested and/or approved by and for the Member State (if consented to), national legislation and case law, Montevideo National Focal Points and an expert database.

The Platform also provides supporting information on the Montevideo Environmental Law Programme, including contact details and meeting documents for all National Focal Points, the Steering Committee for Implementation, and details of partners and donors to the programme.


A decade of action on environmental law....

2020-2030 is a make-or-break decade for the environment, and effective action on strengthening environmental law and its implementation is critical. Strong environmental laws and institutions are essential for planetary health, nature, pandemic recovery, and resilience. They underpin the successful implementation of any environmental goal, policy or commitment, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

What's next?

The First Global Meeting of National Focal Points

The First Global Meeting of National Focal Points is divided into two sessions. The meeting aims to provide guidance on relevant institutional arrangements for the Montevideo Programme V, as well as identify areas for its implementation.

The first session was held online from 2-4 June 2021, and its meeting report can be downloaded here. At the online session, LEAP was launched, and participants agreed on one initial priority area for implementing the Programme, namely legal responses to address the air pollution crisis. Additionally, National Focal Points designated fifteen representatives to serve on the first Steering Committee for Implementation, and adopted its modalities of work. Please see general information on the first meeting of the Steering Committee, held on 5 August 2021, as well as the Co-Chair's Summary of the meeting, here.

The second session will be held in-person over three days in 2022, on a date and at a location to be announced once there is clarity regarding when an in-person meeting is viable.

Please, do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions, suggestions, or comments!