Other Global Assessments|
GIWA is one of four global assessments. Others have already been made
on biological diversity, climate change, and the ozone layer (stratospheric
ozone) for the purpose of supporting the implementation of the Global
Environment Facility, GEF, project portfolio in these areas. GIWA
is intended as a comparable asessement in support of the implementation
of the international waters component of GEF.
The objective of the Global
Biodiversity Assessment, which was commissioned by UNEP, funded
by GEF, and released in 1995 at the second meeting of the Contracting
Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (the Jakarta Meeting;
see the Jakarta Mandate),
was to "provide an independent, critical, peer-reviewed scientific analysis
of the current issues, theories and views regarding the main global
aspects of biodiversity".
In this comprehensive report, the critical
scientific issues were examined in detail and attention was drawn to
gaps in knowledge and the issues where uncertainty has led to alternative
viewpoints which will require further research to resolve.
The Global Biodiversity Assessment could
shape the scientific agenda for the next decade and be the starting
point for future assessments within the framework of the Convention
to provide a sound basis for policy-making. One major conclusion was
that biodiversity management must go far beyond simply establishing
isolated nature reserves or setting up agricultural seed banks. Instead,
it must be fully integrated into all aspects of landscape management,
including agriculture, socio-economics, and other relevant fields.
assessments on climate change (see info on reports
and summaries) have been made within the framework of the International
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The First Assessment Report was
completed in 1990 and played an important role in establishing the Intergovernmental
Negotiating Committee for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,
which was adopted in 1992 and entered into force in 1994. It provides
the overall policy framework for addressing the climate change issue.
The Second Assessment Report of
the IPCC - Climate Change 1995 - provided key input to the negotiations,
which lead to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC in 1997
(see info on reports and summaries). The Third
Assessment Report currently under preparation will be a comprehensive
and up-to-date assessment of the policy-relevant scientific, technical,
and socio-economic dimensions of climate change. It will concentrate
on new findings since 1995, pay greater attention to the regional (in
addition to the global) scale, and include non-English literature to
the extent possible.
The current understanding of ozone depletion
and its relation to humankind is discussed in detail by the leading
scientists in the world's ozone research community in the WMO/UNEP
Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 1991, 1994
(with contributions by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the European Commission).
Three Assessment Reports were made during
1998 as part of the information upon which the Parties to the UN Montreal
Protocol at the meeting in June 1999 based their decisions considering
the need to amend or adjust the Protocol. The reports included the present
scientific assessment focus on the environmental and health effects
of ozone layer depletion and on the technological feasibilities and
economic implications of various mitigation approaches. Altogether there
have been eight scientific assessments prepared under the international
auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and/or UNEP.