In addition to the two overarching themes of Rio+20, UNEP is focusing its
contribution to the preparatory process on Emerging Issues (EI) aimed at
assessing the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation,
as well as to address new and emerging challenges. To identify the most
critical emerging issues, UNEP is drawing upon two separate areas of work,
namely the preparation of the GEO-5 assessment and the Foresight Process.
The goals of UNEP's input to Emerging Issues are:
- To assist the international community in identifying key
emerging issues based on UNEP Foresight and GEO-5 Processes
- To assess the state, trends, outlook of the global environment and policy
options that can help countries speed-up realization of internationally agreed goals.
- To help member states formulate the outcome text on emerging issues in Rio
Global Environmental Outlook
UNEP is preparing the next edition of its flagship global integrated environmental
assessment, in consultation with governments, academia, research institutes, think tanks,
NGOs and others. The final assessment report will be launched on 6 June 2012 as an
input to the Rio+20 processes.
The GEO-5 process began in 2010 with UNEP convening an Intergovernmental and
Multi-stakeholder consultation on GEO-5 to agree on the objectives, scope and
process for GEO-5. This was followed by the nomination of experts and advisory
groups, drafting of the assessment findings and government review and
scientific peer review. The GEO-5 Summary for Policy Makers
was negotiated and endorsed by governments in January 2012.
Within the framework of UNEP’s fifth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5) reporting
process, UNEP has prepared the report
Keeping Track of Our Changing Environment: From
Rio to Rio+20 (1992-2012). It complements the detailed information on the status and
trends of the global environment and provides a graphical compilation of the
environmental, social and economic changes that have swept the planet over
the last twenty years.
For more information on GEO-5, please visit the website at http://www.unep.org/geo
The purpose of the UNEP Foresight Process is to produce, every two years, a careful and
authoritative ranking of the most important emerging issues related to the global environment.
The Process involved lively debates about issues within a Foresight Panel of 21
distinguished scientists from around the world. The Panel looked at candidate
issues from all sides, and challenged their importance and timeliness.
Starting with a list of more than 90 issues, a preliminary list of 21 issues were
selected and subjected to further comment by an additional 428 scientists worldwide.
The outcome of the Process, which was released at the opening of the 12th Special
Session of the UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum,
was a list of 21 emerging issues tagged "21 Issues for the 21 Century".
This outcome was used to provide input to the emerging issues theme
of UNEP's submission to the UNCSD preparatory process.
For more information on the Foresight Process, please visit the website at http://www.unep.org/publications/ebooks/foresightreport