The Co-Chairs of the GBA4E are Norine Kennedy (USCIB) and Stella Simiyu-Wafukho (CropLife Africa Middle East).
The United Nations Environment has stated its mission as "…to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations."
In pursuit of the fulfilment of this mission, which is inextricably linked to Agenda 2030, the engagement of business is crucial and critical. The private sector in all its forms – farms, small and medium enterprises, family-owned companies, national firms, and multinationals - can make a major contribution to the implementation of all SDGs and to the realization of Agenda 2030.
Whether we live in a developed or a developing economy, businesses are essential to all of our daily lives. Business is already the biggest engine of poverty reduction and economic growth in the developing world. On average, business provides 60% of GDP, 80% of capital flows and 90% of jobs in developing countries. It is a major source of the US$1 trillion a year needed to finance sustainable development.
Business has an ongoing commitment to working with local communities, international agencies, governments, civil society and the scientific community. A distinct, enhanced role for business with a unique voice is important to facilitate higher business engagement and to advance the work of UN Environment and UNEA.
Members of the Business and Industry Major Group have self-organized to establish the Global Business Alliance for the Environment (GBA4E) for UN Environment/UNEA to strengthen and augment business’ engagement with those entities and to reflect the important and indispensable role that business plays in matters concerning the environment. Important examples of businesses’ ability to assist UN Environment/UNEA include better engagement of business leaders to advance the agenda of UN Environment/UNEA, including through partnerships, revised business practices, and new innovative environmentally-friendly business approaches.
The underpinning principles for the activities of the GBA4E are:
- Full range of expertise: The GBA4E, through its participating partners, can provide UN Environment/UNEA with policy, technical, expert and implementation input, at the appropriate level and expertise.
- Comprehensive and inclusive engagement: The GBA4E will reflect the full economic and commercial spectrum through the involvement of companies of all sizes and sectors from developed and developing countries.
- Self governing: The GBA4E will work autonomously and manage its own interface, internal coordination and selection of representatives for engaging with Member States and other stakeholders. Such self-governing principles would include transparency, consensus where possible, or a range of responsible business views when there is more than one perspective.
- Distinct voice: The GBA4E will present a distinct and representative voice for its participating partners, as stakeholders who are deeply involved in delivering partnerships, livelihoods, and incomes, and who can implement environmental stewardship programmes. The expectations of governments call for business interaction and accountability.
- Full life-cycle of policy through dialogue: The GBA4E engagement will inform all stages of policy development and implementation, including agenda setting, and policy formulation, at all levels.
- Enhanced representation: The GBA4E will serve as a portal for the Business and Industry Major Group, allowing business opportunities for participation that reflect its unique role in implementing environmental aspects of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs.
With the implementation of the foregoing, business will set out on a new and holistic path of partnership with UN Environment/UNEA that will benefit the environment and all stakeholders.
View our Governance Guidelines
GBA4E’s membership is open to all national, regional and international business organisations, enterprises, cooperatives, and trade associations who wish to engage with UN Environment and UNEA. Voluntary financial contributions are welcomed to support the effort of the Alliance.