GRID (Global Resource Information Database)

A small, global network of approximately 13 institutions (governmental, non-governmental and academic) that are centres of excellence in remotely sensed data gathering and have geo-spatial capability to manage this data. In general, the responsibilities of the GRID centres are to analyse remotely sensed data, compile global datasets and provide technical information support to regional and global assessment processes. The centres did not have a common set of terms of reference and this resulted in considerable disparity of activities among them. Some centres were project oriented at a site specific level while others genuinely tried to focus on global issues and support UNEP’s global assessment programme. The GRID network was formerly coordinated through a Programme Activity Centre based at UNEP Headquarters but latterly (post-1995) the GRID centres tended to operate independently although three (Geneva, Sioux Falls, Bangkok) were coordinated by UNEP.