21 June 2004 The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced a €1 million (euro) yearly partnership with German-based chemicals and healthcare company Bayer AG to support the agency’s global strategy to involve young people in environmental issues.
The initiative is called “Tunza” – a Kiswahili word meaning to treat with care or affection – and aims to engage young people in UNEP’s work, increasing their participation in sustainable development issues.
Set to unfold over a six-year period, activities and events will include the annual Tunza international conferences for children and youth as well as related publications.
UNEP and Bayer have worked together on projects in the Asia and Pacific region for nearly a decade, organizing competitions for World Environment Day and providing opportunities for young people to participate in environmental study tours and international learning forums, such as last year’s Eco-Innovate 03, in Sydney, Australia, at the University of New South Wales.
Hailing the latest collaboration, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer said, “This partnership will help young people take the stage in environmental awareness raising and decision-making.”
Mr. Toepfer and Bayer’s Chairman of the Board of Management, Werner Wenning, signed the three-year agreement today at the company’s headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany.
Bayer is also a founding member of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Global Compact, which encourages companies and other stakeholders to work with the UN to achieve human rights, labour and environmental goals.