SCOPE was established in 1969 as an international scientific non-governmental organisation to identify and undertake analyses of emerging environmental issues that are caused by or impact on humans and the environment.

Over the past four decades SCOPE has provided authoritative, independent and influential scientific assessments of issues including i.a. environmental risk assessment, ecotoxicology, the biogeochemical cycle of the main elements, global climate change, indicators of sustainable development, biodiversity and biological invasions, and environmental impacts of military and civilian uses of nuclear power.

The SCOPE Series, more than 70 scientific monographs and other imprint titles, as well as the UNESCO-SCOPE-UNEP Policy Briefs convey the results of individual projects and specific programmes.

Through its continuing focus on emerging issues, SCOPE has also supported the development of global environmental programmes throughout the world.