UNEP-WCMC was established in July 2000 as a collaboration between WCMC 2000 and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the world’s foremost intergovernmental environmental organization. Prior to July 2000 the World Conservation Monitoring Centre was an independent organization, jointly supported and managed by IUCN – The World Conservation Union, UNEP and WWF.
Under the terms of the agreement reached between UNEP and WCMC, the charity was renamed WCMC 2000. It owns the building and all major assets, and almost all of the Centre’s staff are employed by WCMC 2000 (UNEP provides the Director and a second senior post). These resources are made available to UNEP so that together UNEP and WCMC 2000 can deliver products and services that support biodiversity decision making.
The objectives of WCMC 2000 are, in summary, to promote for the public benefit the conservation, protection, enhancement and support of nature and natural resources worldwide by:
- Compiling data on matters of relevance to the conservation of nature and natural resources
- Storing, processing, analysing and interpreting such data with a view to increasing the fund of knowledge and understanding relating to the conservation of nature and natural resources
- Monitoring developments in and identifying areas of particular concern in the field of the conservation of nature and natural resources
- Disseminating information and analyses derived from data to wide range of clients and in the full range of appropriate formats
- Monitoring compliance with international agreements in the field of biodiversity conservation of nature and natural resources
- Promoting the formation and implementation by appropriate bodies of policies concerning the conservation of nature and natural resources
- Working in co-operation with other organisations in so far as is consistent with the above objects
- Promoting establishment of national and regional conservation data centres, particularly in developing countries, with a view to increasing access to reliable information for enlightened management in the field of the conservation of nature and natural resources.
For WCMC 2000 the collaboration with UNEP allows the charity to increase its access to decision makers and broadens opportunities for collaboration and data access, thereby increasing its ability to achieve its objects.
For UNEP the collaboration with WCMC 2000 provides access to substantial experience of biodiversity information and its use in providing support to decision making, thereby increasing UNEP’s ability to deliver on its international mandates.
The collaboration with UNEP does not provide core funding other than that associated with support of the two UNEP staff members, but it does increase opportunities for funding of specific activities through UNEP, and increases the Centre’s opportunities for working with governments and intergovernmental agencies. The arrangement also enhances the Centre’s ability to facilitate collaboration between a wide range of organizations at all levels.