UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD 19)

a) Side Event

Date & Time: 6 May 2011; 1:15 - 2:45 PM
Venue (tentative): Conference Room: 2 (NLB)

The world since Rio 1992 as told by UNEP’s GEO 5 report: A visual story of how humans are influencing environmental changes

UNEP through its various publications, Atlases and specifically its flagship Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report series, has been documenting and communicating the state of environment over the last two decades. UNEP will be hosting a side event that offers visual evidence and extent of humankind’s impact on the planet. The story is told through a combination of ground photographs and narratives as well as spectacular “before and after” satellite images of how population growth, cultural practices and consumption patterns have led to increased competition for natural resources and how this has affected the environment. The side event is intended for policy makers, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and academics.

Fatoumata Keita-Ouane, UNEP
Pushker. Kharecha , NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies
Marc Levy, Columbia University


b) Learning Centre

Course Title: Reaching globally agreed environmental goals: what do indicators tell us?
Date & time: Friday 6 May, 10am-1pm
Venue: Conference room B (located in the Temporary North Lawn Building, located in the United Nations Headquarters in New York)

Reaching Globally Agreed Environmental Goals: What do Indicators tell us?

UNEP will host a learning centre at CSD 19 on global environmental indicators.

Indicators help to keep the environment under observation and identify emerging issues. For example, melting of mountain glaciers tells us something about atmospheric warming while reduced production of ozone depleting substances indicates that countries are successfully phasing them out. Regular, comprehensive and indicator-based assessments are carried out by UNEP through the Global Environment Outlook and will provide the background material for the session.

The learning centre will:

  • explain how indicators are selected and used for status and trends analyses as well as to build the knowledge base required to sustain them.
  • use selected graphics, with key environmental indicators showing major global and regional trends including many of the environmental indicators used in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The set of key environmental issues – for example, those related to waste, land degradation and water quality – that cannot be adequately depicted due to a lack of comprehensive, reliable and up-to-date data will also be introduced.
  • focus on indicators for policy implementation.