UNEP at Work                

The Fifth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5)

In 1995, in support of UNEPs unique mandate within the UN system to keep under review the world environmental situation, (GA resolution 2997 of December 1972), the UNEP Governing Council requested a new, comprehensive report on the state of the world environment. The tool that UNEP employs to do this is the Global Environment Outlook or GEO. GEO is a process of conducting a global integrated environmental assessment that delivers the best available scientific findings to policy makers so that they can make informed decisions. In this way, the assessment bridges the science and policy realms. GEO is also a product. Using integrated environmental assessment (IEA) methodology, UNEP has produced a series of GEO reports which have analyzed environmental state and trends at the global and regional levels, described plausible outlooks for various time frames and formulated policy options. Each GEO report builds on the assessment findings of its predecessor and also draws from lessons learned on process.

Fresh Water for the future: A synopsis of UNEP activities in water

In brief, the publication gives a snapshot of the significant contribution that UNEP and its partners have made around the world in protecting our limited fresh water resources for the improvement of livelihoods, focusing on the ecosystems approaches in line with its mandate. Case studies range from on-ground intervention to normative work at national, regional and global level. The cases presented here illustrate UNEPs work at the global, regional, national, catchment and sub-catchment levels. No effort has been made to depict regional balance of the cases presented.

Sustainable Consumption and Production for Poverty Alleviation

This paper explores the type and quality of linkages between the objective of achieving sustainable consumption and production (SCP) patterns, and those of poverty alleviation and sustainable development. The paper constructs a theoretical framework based on the analysis of development specialists, as well as scenarios and empirical data which show how natural resources and the environment underpin development efforts. A number of case studies in key economic sectors — including energy, agriculture, waste management and urban development — are provided to validate this theoretical framework. These case studies identify, and where possible quantify, the combination of economic, social and environmental gains secured by shifting towards SCP patterns. The relationship between indicators of development and SCP is also explored, highlighting important overlaps and complementarities between them. The paper’s conclusions highlight the economic and social gains for developing countries from the shift to SCP, which also sustains natures productive ecosystems.

Global Environment Outlook 5 for Local Government: solving global problems locally

GEO-5, the latest in the GEO series, released in June 2012, provides an assessment of the state and trends of the global environment in relation to internationally agreed goals; evaluates the gaps and barriers in their implementation; and provides policy options that have the potential to speed-up realization of these goals.

Blue Carbon - First Level Exploration of Blue Carbon in the Arabian Peninsula

Healthy natural coastal ecosystems such as mangrove forests, saltwater marshlands and seagrass meadows provide a vast array of important co-benefits to coastal communities around the world, including throughout the Arabian Peninsula. These benefits include ecosystem services such as a rich cultural heritage; the protection of shorelines from storms; erosion or sea-level rise; food from fisheries; maintenance of water quality; and landscape beauty for recreation and ecotourism. In a Blue Carbon context these ecosystems also store and sequester potentially vast amounts of carbon in sediments and biomass.

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