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AEO Working Groups

Technical support and tools for AEO-2 process

In order to support the AEO-2 process, the AEO team has put in place the following technical working groups:

1. AEO Data Working Group (AEO-DWG)

The critical nature of data for reliable environmental assessments cannot be over-emphasized, given that accurate and timely data underpin the entire assessment process. Data collected by governments, local and international organizations, academic/research bodies across the continent should allow for comparisons to be made through time and between geographic/political entities, at least insomuch as these data are coherent and consistent; they form the basis for higher-level “environmental indicators” providing information in a more aggregated and integrated format; and thus allow for measures of progress or regression in environmental and sustainable development conditions.

The AEO-DWG is expected to gain consensus on critical environmental issues, core data sets and sources, policy relevant and forward-looking assessments, strategic approaches, identification of emerging environmental issues in the region to form a basis for early warning and the establishment of an appropriate framework for regular update of the AEO and associated products. It should also provide for the linkages with the GEO process and ensure that data sets for AEO-II and subsequent AEO process are in line with the GEO process.

The AEO-DWG has also developed a list of priority environment issues, indicators... based on the thematic areas identified by the AEO-2 thematic areas, NEPAD environment Action plan and other frameworks such as the WEHAB areas of WSSD, the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the MDGs, PRSPs and the GEO 4 themes. They have also been useful in guiding AEIN countries and the AEO collaborating centres (CCs) in identifying the priority indicators for environmental assessment and reporting at the national, sub-regional and regional levels as well as streamlining the indicators in the region.
    NEPAD/AEO-2 Themes Issues Data Indicator Matrix [En]
    AEO Data Working Group meeting reports
    AEO-DWG inception meeting, November 2003, Nairobi, Kenya
    AEO-DWG second meeting, April 2005, Harare, Zimbabwe
    AEO-DWG third meeting, October 2006, Cairo, Egypt

2. AEO Scenario Working Group (AEO-SWG)

The AEO-SWG working group will articulate a range of scenarios, with a view to examining their plausibility, desirability and sustainability. The scenarios will provide structured accounts of the interplay between processes concerning socio-economic, environmental and resource issues. They can operate at regional, sub-regional, national or local levels. The AEO-SWG will consider the implications of various scenarios, and make recommendations, and will meet to determine the structure for Chapter 4. They will also provide the reference point for questions, clarification and direction for the AEO-2 contributors with regard to scenarios, and Chapter 4, and will conduct a review of the Chapter when it is written.

3. AEO Policy Analysis Working Group (AEO-PAWG)

The AEO-PAWG group will provide advice and input to the AEO process on environmental (and other policies) and their impact on the environment. They will monitor and review policies and their implementation at all levels, identify alternative policies and make recommendations to improve effectiveness of existing policies, devise innovative approaches to meet emerging environmental concerns and promote regional consensus-building on priorities. The group will meet to develop a structure for Chapter 5 of AEO 2. In addition to the guidelines developed by UNEP and UNDP they will act as a reference point for questions, clarification and direction for the contributors with regard to policy analysis, and will review Chapter 5 when it is written.