In 2004, preparations started for GEO-4, which is to be published in 2007. As noted above, the process modified the framework for integrated environmental assessment to take into account, among others, new knowledge in environmental assessment and the findings of the UNEP Science Initiative (http://science.unep.org). Some elements were strengthened, and new ones were introduced into the process, including:
- a series of regional consultations at the start of the process to identify regional priorities for the next assessment;
- a strengthened and comprehensive peer review process using chapter review editors to increase the scientific credibility and legitimacy of the process;
- an intergovernmental consultation to discuss the content of the assessment report and the design of the assessment process;
- nominations by governments of experts to be included in the assessment process;
- an expert group on human well-being, and chapter expert groups to draft chapters;
- a structured process for developing regional scenarios; and
- consideration of the methodology and results of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) in the design and implementation of the GEO-4 assessment.
How can intergovernmental and regional consultations support the GEO process?