Towards Stockholm+50…

and beyond!


Our publication of ‘The People’s Environment Narrative’ – the PEN – commemorates 50 years of work for the environment carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme, civil society, and other relevant stakeholders can now be downloaded here and by clicking on the image below. The PEN was introduced at the People’s Environment Narrative Webinar on Oct.13th, 2022.

2022 marked 50 years since the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment Stockholm took place, and 50 years since the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was established. The People’s Environment Narrative is a comprehensive report that describes and portrays 50 years of civil society’s and other non-state stakeholders’ efforts around environmental policy.

The report provides a historic overview of how stakeholders have engaged in consistent and continued work to safeguard the environment, how they have brought new issues to the global environmental agenda, and how they have contributed to developing environmental law and governance. By bringing together authors with expertise in a wide range of disciplines – who have been following the course of UNEP and working for the environment for 50 years – we present stories of success, challenges, and struggles, personal experiences as well as the outcomes from major stakeholder consultations, meetings, and conferences.

In addition, the PEN focuses on five legacy themes, all of which found their inspiration in 1972 and have since been a foundation for UNEP. As UNEP is the global authority on the environment, the five Legacy Themes continue to influence the environmental agenda. These are:

  • Environmental Diplomacy and Multilateralism;
  • Environmental Rights, Human Rights, and Environmental Justice;
  • Connecting the Dots – Making a Forceful Canon of the Rio Conventions and the Multilateral Environmental Agreements;
  • The Environment and Education Looking to the Future; and
  • Science and the Environment.

The PEN report aims to further increase the visibility of civil society and other stakeholder efforts and accomplishments. Despite a troubling trend today, where civic space and stakeholder participation are shrinking rather than expanding, the PEN recognizes civil society and other stakeholders’ huge contributions as central actors in the development of global environmental policy. Thus, the PEN, a joint effort by key civil society and other non-state stakeholder groups and individuals, offers the reader a unique window into their efforts to advocate for a safe, healthy, and equitable global environment.

The reader will find that the PEN is divided into eight sections:

Section One: An introductory background

Section Two: A contextual and fact-based background to commemorate 50 years of work for the environment, including UNEP and Civil Society – a necessary partnership:

14 case stories showing the outcomes of this collaborative effort

Section Three: Civil Society Organizations and other stakeholders recommendations – tapping on what needs to be improved

Section Four: The Five Legacy Papers – Executive Summaries (full versions of which can be downloaded via links found within the PEN)

Section Five: Outcomes by UNEP

Section Six: Civil Society and non-state stakeholders –

key environmental concerns for the future

Section Seven: What really happened with Stockholm+50 and the 50th anniversary?

Section Eight: Who contributed to this document? Acknowledgments, pictures, and bios

The PEN Editorial team hopes that you will find the People’s Environment Narrative enlightening. It also hopes it will give you valuable insight into what happened at Stockholm+50 in June 2022, its preparatory process, and into the 50 years that preceded this conference.

We welcome all comments and feedback to [email protected]

Kind regards,

The PEN Editorial team

“THE PEOPLES ENVIRONMENT NARRATIVE: 50 years of work for the environment by civil society, the global NGO community, and other stakeholders including representatives of the UN system to commemorate the 50 years of the UN Environment Program (UNEP) and 50 years since the first Human Environment conference (aka – Stockholm+50)”

The PEN is a product of the Towards Stockholm+50 project, an initiative by Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and Forum for Utvikling og Miljø (the Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment – ForUM), supported by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Civil Society Unit with financial support from the Government of Sweden.

On Thursday, October 13th, we held a launch event to introduce ‘The People’s Environment Narrative,’ a comprehensive document highlighting the contributions by stakeholders to UNEP@50 & Stockholm+50

The webinar was presented in English, Français, y español

Watch the recordingsdownload the presentation, read the written statements by Prof. Daniel Magraw and Jan-Gustav Strandenaes, and catch up on the webinar chat.

Listen to our podcast episode with Isis Alvarez and Jan-Gustav Strandenaes. Got your interest? Head over to iTunes or Spotify for the entire series.

The People’s Environment Narrative document will be available for download here, soon.


Stockholm+50 was held on the 2nd & 3rd of June 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden, to commemorate the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Environment and celebrate 50 years of global environmental action.

Towards Stockholm+50 has the aim to engage the widest variety of non-state actors – globally – to raise awareness about the legacy of 50 years of implementing environmental policies, with a series of lectures.

As well as a series of webinars and a podcast, we hosted a Side Event at the Stockholm+50 conference. You can catch up on all our events, webinars, and podcasts on our Events page.

By recognising the importance of multilateralism in tackling the Earth’s triple planetary crisis – climate, nature, and pollution – Stockholm+50 aimed to act as a springboard to accelerate the implementation of the UN Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, including the 2030 Agenda, Paris Agreement on climate change, the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and encourage the adoption of green post-COVID-19 recovery plans.

The Towards Stockholm+50 project is a joint initiative by Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and Forum for utvikling og miljø (the Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment) ForUM. Towards Stockholm+50 is a stakeholder-led initiative funded by the United Nations Environment Programme’s Civil Society unit with support from the Government of Sweden.

Who are we?

Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future (SF) is a non-profit international organisation, registered in the UK, the Netherlands, and the USA, working to advance sustainable development at all levels. Its work aims to enhance open, accountable, and participatory decision-making and governance on sustainable development through enhancing the involvement of all stakeholders. For over 25 years, SF has been a bridge between those who have a stake in sustainable development and the international forums where decisions are made in their name.

The Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment (ForUM) is a network of 50 Norwegian organisations within development, environment, peace, and human rights. Its vision is a democratic and peaceful world based on fair distribution, solidarity, human rights, and sustainability. Since 2013, ForUM’s focus areas are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including financing for development and climate change.