UNEP's GEO-5 To Address Global Environmental Challenges and Solutions
Nairobi, Kenya, 21 October 2010 - This year has seen the world struggle with a range of environmental and humanitarian challenges, including floods in Pakistan, landslides in China, wildfires in Russia and an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. How to respond to these kinds of disasters - many of which transcend national boundaries - is the focus of the Environmental Outlook-5 (GEO-5), the flagship publication of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
GEO-5, which is due to come out in 2012 with the recommendations of the world's leading scientists, environmental experts and key policymakers, will highlight how countries can respond on a policy level, giving key recommendations in line with global environmental trends.
Earlier this month UNEP concluded a series of regional consultations in Africa, Asia-Pacific, North America, West Asia, Latin America and Europe. The outcomes of these consultations show consistent themes and concerns across the regions on the need for environmental governance, sustainable water-use plans and the need to protect biodiversity and support renewable energy.
Consultations in the Asia and Pacific region identified some effective policies for addressing environmental issues, including policies in watershed management; financial mechanisms, such as cap-and-trade systems, and crop insurance schemes in the agricultural sector. These discussions highlighted the importance of aligning developmental and environmental goals, noting that improved food security and sustainable development is crucial for preventing environmental degradation.
North America's regional consultations saw policy-makers identifying sustainable development and poverty eradication as top priorities with the goal of advancing the concept of a Green Economy that will support new technologies as well as introduce new jobs.
In Latin America and Africa, which have been experiencing drought, desertification and floods as a result of climate change, the consultations emphasized the need to minimize these effects (specifically natural disasters) as a key priority and called for the need for more conservation and sustainable use of coastal and marine ecosystems.