The pan-European regional assessment under UNEP’s sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) has been presented to the Portuguese Minister of Environment and other government officials.
Following its launch last month, outreach work has continued with a presentation of the report’s process and key findings at an open event organized by the General Secretariat of Portugal’s Environment Ministry in Lisbon, Portugal on 28 June 2016.
The report identifies air pollution and climate change as now being the two major threats to human health in the pan-European region and was presented in the Portuguese capital following World Environment Day – UNEP’s biggest event for awareness raising on the environment.
The Secretary General of Environment Alexandra Carvalho opened the session, which was attended by around 40 people at the General Secretariat of Portugal’s Environment Ministry, including government staff and representatives of the media.
In a keynote address, the Portuguese Minister of Environment Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes highlighted the importance of sharing information and lessons learned through processes such as GEO. In a video message, UNEP’s Regional Director for Europe Jan Dusik noted how the report comes at a time when the world is on a new course to combat climate change and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resource-efficient, resilient and sustainable future. However, “living within our planetary boundaries will require fundamental transitions in energy, food, mobility and urban systems,” he underlined, adding: “the GEO assessment forms a basis for policymakers to take action”.
The UNEP Regional Office for Europe focal point for the science-policy interface was joined by the Scientific Co-Chair of the GEO-6 Assessment for the pan-European region – Prof. Diana Mangalagiu from Oxford University –and they delivered the technical presentations and participated in the discussion panel that took place during this half-day session in Lisbon. They presented the key findings from the assessment and informed participants on the details of the process for developing the report based on expert and intergovernmental consultations and a sound peer review process.
At the discussion panel that followed the presentations participants actively engaged with the presenters, asking questions and taking part in a rich discussion. Highlights of this dialogue included the use of regional data by the team of authors, transnational cooperation and the importance of countries’ engagement in the GEO assessment process, and the use of the assessment findings at national level.
Other topics discussed were the relation between air pollution and health, green growth and the circular economy vis-a-vis the outcomes of the Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in Batumi, Georgia where the GEO-6 regional assessment was launched in June. In order to view the report please click here and note the errata here.
GEO is a consultative and participatory process that builds capacity for conducting integrated environmental assessments and reporting on the state, trends and outlooks of the environment. GEO is also a series of products that informs environmental decision-making and aims to facilitate the interaction between science and policy. Using the integrated environmental assessment (IEA) methodology, UNEP has produced five global GEO reports thus far, which have analyzed environmental state and trends at the global and regional scales, described plausible outlooks for various time frames and formulated policy options. Each GEO report builds on the assessment findings of its predecessor and draws from lessons learnt. The GEO-6 Assessment for the pan-European region is one of the building blocks for the production of the forthcoming Global Assessment under the GEO-6 process.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org