GUPES was the result of a consultative forum organized by UNEP and its partners to increase successful engagement with universities. It builds on the successes of the Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in African Universities (MESA), the nascent Mainstreaming Environment and Sustainability in the Caribbean Universities (MESCA) and the Asia-Pacific Regional University Consortium (RUC).


GUPES serves to increase the mainstreaming of environment and sustainability practices and curricula into universities around the world.


It is also geared towards encouraging further interaction between UNEP and universities, around the three pillars of education, training and applied research.


This is done in accordance to the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, and in partnership with UNESCO, UNU and other organizations.