NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 15 – A Danish economist and environmentalist has assumed leadership at the helm of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headquartered in Nairobi.
Inger Andersen whose appointment as the Executive Director of the agency took effect on Saturday was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in February, following his nomination by United Nations Secretary General António Guterres.
She has promised to prioritize climate change, pollution, and rally efforts to mitigate against the loss of biodiversity during her four-year term.
“Good environmental stewardship has never been more important. Climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution in all its forms pose a clear and present danger to human and planetary health, and to prosperity,” Andersen said.
“In the coming weeks and months I will work with the committed and excellent staff of the UN Environment Programme, and all of our partners and donors, to define the priorities of an organization that is central to our aspirations of a sustainable and equitable world.”
Prior to her appointment to the new role, Andersen served as Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature between January 2015 and May 2019.
She also held various roles at the World Bank including Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa.
Andersen is taking over the leadership of UNEP from Deputy Executive Director Joyce Msuya who has been acting Executive Director since late last year.