Overview of the Global Environment Centre Foundation
Establishment of the UNEP/DTIE/International Environmental Technology Centre
Beginning in the 1960s, Osaka City experienced a series of acute socio-environmental issues on the back of rapid industrialization, such as air, noise and water pollution and land subsidence. The city succeeded in substantially mitigating these problems, however, through the combined efforts of government and industry. Seeking to leverage these experiences for the benefit of others, the Osaka City Government actively cooperated with developing nations to help resolve their environmental problems, such as the formulation of a master plan to address air pollution in Shanghai, China.
In 1990, the International Garden and Greenery Exposition was held in Osaka based on the theme of “harmonious coexistence between nature and mankind". In anticipation of this event, Osaka City announced its intention in August of 1989 to invite an international environmental organization to the city as a way of carrying on the spirit of the exposition and taking advantage of Osaka's experience in environmental conservation. The announcement was followed by moves to attract relevant organizations, including an official invitation from Osaka Mayor Masaya Nishio handed to the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Dr. Mostafa K. Tolba during his visit to Japan.
These efforts culminated in July 1990 with a proposal by Japan's then Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu at the G7 Summit in Houston to establish a UNEP facility in Japan. In August of the same year, Japan’s Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Naohiro Kumagai made a proposal to the 2nd Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council to set up the International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC). In May of the following year, a resolution to establish IETC with the mandate of promoting the adoption, application and operation of Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs) in developing countries and countries with economies in transition was unanimously approved at the 16th Session of the UNEP Governing Council. In October 1992, UNEP Executive Director Tolba and Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Koji Kakizawa signed an agreement in Osaka on the founding of IETC in Osaka, which officially commenced operations in April 1994. Since April 2011, IETC operates in Osaka after its two offices were merged into one office.
Note: official positions listed above were current at the dates listed.
Establishment of the Global Environment Centre Foundation
Following the UNEP Governing Council's official decision to establish IETC in Japan, the Osaka City Government set up the UNEP/IETC Osaka Planning Office on 3 July 1991 to investigate IETC's operations and to facilitate the establishment of a support foundation to be launched at the start of 1992.
Following initial preparations by the Planning Office, the Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC) was launched as a UNEP support entity on 28 January 1992 with a capital endowment from the Osaka prefectural and city governments.
In 2008, GEC subsequently filed an application for change of legal entity from an incorporated foundation to a public interest incorporated foundation on 27 October 2009 in response to the 2008 enforcement of the three laws relating to reform of the public interest corporation system. After receiving the approval of the Prime Minister, GEC made a new start as a public interest incorporated foundation on 1 April 2010.
GEC was founded with the aim of contributing to the conservation of the environment in developing nations and around the world by leveraging Japan's wealth of conservation knowledge and experience in support of UNEP's urban environment conservation activities in developing nations, and undertaking activities to promote international cooperation to protect the global environment.
In addition to providing various types of support to IETC such as facility sharing and project collaboration, GEC also acts as an intermediary between IETC and its affiliated institutions in Japan to help ensure that its activities proceed smoothly and efficiently. Through activities to protect the global environment including surveys & research, collection & dissemination of information, and hosting of training & seminars, GEC contributes to Japan's international efforts on the environment.
Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC)
Date of Establishment
28 January 1992
Cabinet Office, Government of Japan
2-110 Ryokuchi-koen, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka 538-0036 Japan
1,754,160,000 yen (as of 1 April 2011)
- Projects in support of UNEP/DTIE/IETC stated aims of technical transfers and spreading information on environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) to promote environmental conservation in major urban areas of developing nations.
- Collection, dissemination, surveying & research of information on environmental conservation in developing nations & the world as well as global warming countermeasures to promote technical cooperation and foster human resources in developing nations.
- Other projects required to achieve GEC's stated aims.
Number of Staff
22 (as of 1 April 2011)
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