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To keep the environment under review, UNEP focuses on bridging the gap between the producers and users of environmental information, better linking science to policy. To do so, the organization focuses on three areas:

Facilitating global, regional and national policy-making from environmental information made available on open platforms.

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Enabling better policy planning that incorporates information on emerging environmental issues.

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Enhancing the capacity of countries to generate, access, analyze, use and communicate environmental information and knowledge.

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IN PICTURES

Assessment, early warning and information management

UNEP’s work builds a strong foundation for the next generation of integrated environmental assessments and enables access to near real-time environmental data for analysis and decision-making – allowing policy makers working on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SustainableDevelopment and the Paris Agreement to make decisions based on the latest information.

UNEP live includes national data flows from 192 countries, lists global environmental reporting obligations for each country, and hosts a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) portal and nine communities of practive with over 1,500 members.

Assessment, early warning and information management

UNEP’s work builds a strong foundation for the next generation of integrated environmental assessments and enables access to near real-time environmental data for analysis and decision-making – allowing policy makers working on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SustainableDevelopment and the Paris Agreement to make decisions based on the latest information.

The innovative online UNEP Live platform is designed to support assessments by making available global, regional and national data and knowledge. UNEP Live includes national data flows from 192 countries, lists global environmental reporting obligations for each country, and hosts a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) portal and nine Communities of Practice with over 1,500 members. Near real-time data and maps available in UNEP Live cover a range of themes from air quality and sea-level rise to resource efficiency indicators, the Antarctic ozone hole, marine plastics and threatened species.

The UN’s Chief Executives Board (CEB) in its session of 29 April 2015 recognized the innovative contribution that UNEP Live is making to harness the data revolution.

Through UNEP Live, UNEP is offering countries an online reporting tool to facilitate and strengthen data sharing, collection, analysis and reporting. This national reporting tool, the Indicator Reporting Information System (IRIS), was developed with support from the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI). UNEP also supports initiatives to make credible nationally generated data with country-specific environmental information accessible in comparable formats on public platforms. In the context of the GeoSUR programme, the geographic services of Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay are now sharing spatial environmental data and information using web-mapping services.

UNEP live includes national data flows from 192 countries, lists global environmental reporting obligations for each country, and hosts a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) portal and nine communities of practive with over 1,500 members.

Assessment, early warning and information management

UNEP’s work builds a strong foundation for the next generation of integrated environmental assessments and enables access to near real-time environmental data for analysis and decision-making – allowing policy makers working on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SustainableDevelopment and the Paris Agreement to make decisions based on the latest information.

The innovative online UNEP Live platform is designed to support assessments by making available global, regional and national data and knowledge. UNEP Live includes national data flows from 192 countries, lists global environmental reporting obligations for each country, and hosts a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) portal and nine Communities of Practice with over 1,500 members. Near real-time data and maps available in UNEP Live cover a range of themes from air quality and sea-level rise to resource efficiency indicators, the Antarctic ozone hole, marine plastics and threatened species.

The UN’s Chief Executives Board (CEB) in its session of 29 April 2015 recognized the innovative contribution that UNEP Live is making to harness the data revolution.

Through UNEP Live, UNEP is offering countries an online reporting tool to facilitate and strengthen data sharing, collection, analysis and reporting. This national reporting tool, the Indicator Reporting Information System (IRIS), was developed with support from the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI). UNEP also supports initiatives to make credible nationally generated data with country-specific environmental information accessible in comparable formats on public platforms. In the context of the GeoSUR programme, the geographic services of Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Uruguay are now sharing spatial environmental data and information using web-mapping services.

UNEP live includes national data flows from 192 countries, lists global environmental reporting obligations for each country, and hosts a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) portal and nine communities of practive with over 1,500 members.

National Reporting System

Demonstrated in 20 countries

Piloted in the United Arab Emirates by AGEDI

Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan exploring the tool and open platforms for national use

Samoa leading the charge among Small Island Developing States (SIDS)

The sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6), currently in progress, is now able to benefit from the data flows available in UNEP Live. Six Regional Environmental Information Network conferences were convened to identify key priorities and emerging issues to inform regional GEO-6 assessments and to discuss open access and data sharing in the context of UNEP Live and open data platforms.

Key priorities identified for the six regional GEO-6 assessments to be launched in May 2016

Africa

Protecting and valuing Africa’s natural capital

Asia and the Pacific

A healthy environment for sustainable development of economies

Europe

Well-being as the ultimate goal for development

Latin American and the Caribbean

Governing natural wealth

North America

Using data leadership, cities as living laboratories, and governance partnerships for the environment

West Asia

Peace and good environmental governance for sustainable development

By strengthening the science-policy interface, UNEP aims to increase the number of UN agencies and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), as well as national, regional and global fora that use data on environmental trends.

Facilitating the dialogue between science, civil society and policy makers is what makes UNEP tick. There is no point having the best scientific data and the most brilliant minds if their output cannot serve the needs of planet and people.”
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director

By strengthening the science-policy interface, UNEP aims to increase the number of UN agencies and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), as well as national, regional and global fora that use data on environmental trends. UNEP exceeded its target for December 2015 for UN agencies and MEAs and met the target set for use by fora and institutions. For example, the first volume of the Uganda Wetlands Atlas – which used satellite observation to track wetland changes in the urban areas of Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso – led to the initiation of an agreement on a wetlands restoration programme.

UNEP also aims to increase the number of stakeholders that are taking up scenarios and early warning on emerging environmental issues in their assessment and policy development processes. UNEP’s early warning work, such as the UNEP Year Book 2014, creates attention and fosters timely action on emerging environmental issues that threaten sustainable development.

Facilitating the dialogue between science, civil society and policy makers is what makes UNEP tick. There is no point having the best scientific data and the most brilliant minds if their output cannot serve the needs of planet and people.”
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director

By strengthening the science-policy interface, UNEP aims to increase the number of UN agencies and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), as well as national, regional and global fora that use data on environmental trends. UNEP exceeded its target for December 2015 for UN agencies and MEAs and met the target set for use by fora and institutions. For example, the first volume of the Uganda Wetlands Atlas – which used satellite observation to track wetland changes in the urban areas of Kampala, Mukono and Wakiso – led to the initiation of an agreement on a wetlands restoration programme.

UNEP also aims to increase the number of stakeholders that are taking up scenarios and early warning on emerging environmental issues in their assessment and policy development processes. UNEP’s early warning work, such as the UNEP Year Book 2014, creates attention and fosters timely action on emerging environmental issues that threaten sustainable development.

Facilitating the dialogue between science, civil society and policy makers is what makes UNEP tick. There is no point having the best scientific data and the most brilliant minds if their output cannot serve the needs of planet and people.”
Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director

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To track progress towards the implementation of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, countries need to be empowered to monitor trends and manage data...

To track progress towards the implementation of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, countries need to be empowered to monitor trends and manage data. A new SDG portal hosted on UNEP Live visualizes the linkages from the proposed indicators to targets and goals. Earth observation offers new opportunities to keep the environment under review. At the 2015 Eye on Earth summit, major players in environmental data committed to implementing a set of practical mechanisms to close the data gap that hampers decision- and policy-making for sustainable development. UNEP is committed to working with partners in the framework of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, including on SDG indicators based on remote-sensing data, to ensure that countries have access to the relevant data flows that allow them to undertake regular indicator-based assessments and to report on progress towards relevant SDG targets.

For more information on UNEP's work on keeping the environment under review, please visit our Environment Under Review page or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

For more details on performance indicators and finances, please download UNEP's Programme Performance Report for 2014-2015