GRID-Arendal is a centre collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It was established in 1989 by the Norwegian Ministry of Environment and UNEP in response to the recommendations of the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development, held in Rio de Janeiro. With continued support from Norway, the foundation underscores the Norwegian government's commitment to the global environment, and complements the country's direct support to UNEP.

Since its establishment, GRID-Arendal has supported UNEP by providing environmental information, communications and capacity building services to strengthen environmental management capacity and to motivate decision makers to act.

From its unique knowledge of polar issues, to its Rapid Assessment Reports, GRID-Arendal's work represents a major contribution to tackling the world's environmental challenges.

The Polar Programme undertakes environmental management approaches, capacity-building initiatives in the Arctic within a global context. The program works in collaboration with numerous polar partners and stakeholders in undertaking projects and initiatives focused on the Arctic in a global context. It also serves as UNEP’s main portal to the Arctic.

Facts and figures

Year Established 1989
Total Number of Staff 41
Number of Academic Staff 2
Focus Areas

Polar and Cryosphere

Rapid Response Assessments

Climate Change

Environmental Crime