Rio+20, 20 - 22 June 2012
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

AGEDI

“We look forward to facilitating and supporting the progress of the commitments made at Eye on Earth 2011. However we cannot act alone. We seek participation from the extended Eye on Earth Community to support these initiatives. UNCSD Rio+20 is an opportunity to engage with those who recognise environmental and societal data and information as vital for sound decision-making and the achievement of green growth towards a sustainable future.” Cathrine Armour, Program Manager, Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) .
AnvAgencyEyeOnEarthAGEDII

AGEDI Supports the UNEP Pavilion at Rio+20

Eye on Earth, held in Abu Dhabi from 12- 15 December 2011, brought together the foremost thinkers and doers in the field from the private and public sectors. Access to environmental knowledge is critical. The issue is an important one.

Facilitated by Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and hosted by Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Eye on Earth Summit strengthens existing efforts and inspires a search for unified, global solutions to ensure effective access to environmental and societal data and information by all of those who need it.

Wise decision-making depends on an ever-growing pool of often-unavailable data. It may be absent, inaccessible or simply hidden. Emerging economies are at risk of losing valuable environmental assets as a result of inaccurate decision-making caused by the lack of useable, quality data.

The solution is an achievable one. Much of the world's growing wealth of data is held in incompatible standards, ‘protected’ by bureaucratic complexity, restrained by lack of open access or ignorance of its existence.

The need for collaboration, information and understanding is greater than ever. Water scarcity, food security and climate change are policy issues that require solutions that extend beyond political boundaries. The inaugural summit achieved great support from world leaders and experts in the field of environmental, societal and economic facets who supported the need for action. As a result, the Summit had key outcomes. These outcomes include:

  • Eye on Earth Summit Declaration (‘The Declaration’), endorsed by acclamation by 16 participating country delegations;
  • Eight Special Initiatives; 5 thematic and 3 cross-cutting foundation representing programmes of work in key issue areas;
  • Eye on Water Security
  • Eye on Oceans and Blue Carbon
  • Eye on Biodiversity
  • Eye on Community Sustainability and Resiliency
  • Eye on Disaster Management
  • Eye on Access for All
  • Eye on Environmental Education
  • Eye on Global Network of Networks

The chosen eight Special Initiatives were selected based on each one being compelling, specific, and with achievable, tangible outcomes that translate the principles of the Summit to “on the ground” commitments and actions.

As a commitment to both outcomes and the partnership EAD and UNEP agreed, as cited in Principle 10 of The Declaration to ‘support and facilitate’ the Special Initiatives. The most significant connection notable is that the Special Initiative themes strategically align with the issues identified by the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) Secretariat for Rio + 20. Likewise the focus of The Declaration underpins the two themes of UNCSD Rio + 20:

  • A green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and
  • the institutional framework for sustainable development

Organizational Profile

Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) was launched by the United Arab Emirates Government, under the guidance and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the United Nations World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, to address the impact of missing or weak environmental data on emerging economies’ efforts to achieve sustainable development.

Today, AGEDI works with Partners, Members and stakeholders throughout the world to achieve a more sustainable future through ‘best-impact’ access to environmental and societal data, to meet the challenges that have grown beyond those faced in 2002. Water scarcity, food security and climate change are issues of policy that require action and solutions that extend beyond political boundaries. The need for collaboration, information and understanding is greater than ever.

AGEDI provides user-friendly access to high-quality environmental information, through a variety of information products. While Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) champions AGEDI locally, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) champions it regionally and globally. AGEDI works closely with international networks to facilitate and enhance information exchange.

AGEDI’s objectives:

  • Enhance environmental data collection and assessment
  • Increase data capacities for local, national, regional, and global environmental decision making
  • Ensure sustainable development planning is based on timely, useable, and updated data and information of high quality
  • Boost the accessibility of data and information by all
  • Enhance national and international information processing and exchange mechanisms
  • Enhance national information handling and communications capacities.

AGEDI’s flagship local product is the Abu Dhabi State of the Environment report, accessible at www.soe.ae and the recently held inaugural Eye on Earth Summit; a global summit dedicated to greater access to environmental and societal data by all those who need it.

AGEDI collaborates on a number of projects with strategic partners within the region including Emirates Wildlife Society in association with WWF (EWS-WWF) the Masdar Institute and Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Our key strategic partner regionally and internationally is UNEP, along with EAD at all levels. In collaboration with all our strategic partners, AGEDI works together to achieve the shared aim of ensuring effective access to the world’s expanding pool of environmental and societal data by all of those who need it.

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