United Nations Environment Programme


environment for development

   
UNEP Governing Council Decision GC22./1/IA

22/1. Early warning, assessment and monitoring

Strengthening the scientific base of the United Nations Environment Programme

The Governing Council,

Recalling General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972, and in particular section I, paragraphs 2 (a), (b), (d) and (e) thereof,

Recalling also relevant Governing Council decisions pertaining to data, information, monitoring, assessment and early warning, (including 18/27 C of 26 May 1995, the Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of the United Nations Environment Programme, 20/1 of 4 February 1999, 20/4 of 4 February 1999, and the Malmö Ministerial Declaration ), and in particular decision SS.VII/I on international environmental governance and on capacity-building, paragraphs 8 (e), 11 (h) (i) and (ii), 24 and 31 thereof,

Noting the provisions contained in paragraphs 108 to 112 of the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development on the role of science, technology and assessment as a basis for decision-making on environment for sustainable development,

Commending the Executive Director on the production of the third Global Environment Outlook report, following the full participatory, consultative approach as requested in Governing Council decision 20/1 of 4 February 1999, and its publication in May 2002, prior to the World Summit on Sustainable Development,

Recognizing the benefits of South-South and North-South cooperation, partnerships and networking inherent in the integrated environmental assessment process of the United Nations Environment Programme and the enhanced capacities of national and regional institutions to carry out assessments and supportive data management as a result of the capacity-building undertaken by the United Nations Environment Programme,

Underscoring the importance of international cooperation among the organizations of the United Nations system, intergovernmental organizations, Governments, the scientific community, non governmental organizations, private enterprises and appropriate national institutions in exchanging information and scientific knowledge on environmental matters, inter alia, through the United Nations system-wide Earthwatch,

Having considered the report of the Executive Director on strengthening the scientific base of the United Nations Environment Programme by improving its ability to monitor and assess global environmental change, including the establishment of an intergovernmental panel on global environmental change (UNEP/GC.22/4/Add.l (pdf)),

Strengthening the scientific base of the United Nations Environment Programme

1. Reiterates that further consideration should be given to strengthening the scientific base of the United Nations Environment Programme by improving its ability to monitor and assess global environmental change;

2. Invites Governments, intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and scientific institutions to submit to the Executive Director by a date specified by him their views on the following questions:

(a) What are the likely gaps and types of assessment needs with respect to the environment and environmental change?
(b) How are the United Nations Environment Programme and other organizations currently meeting those assessment needs?
(c) What options exist with respect to meeting any unfulfilled needs that fall within the role and mandate of the United Nations Environment Programme?

3. Further invites those providing views to address, inter alia, the following considerations:

(a) Scientific credibility, saliency, legitimacy and relevance in the assessment processes;
(b) Interaction between science and policy development;
(c) The role of existing institutions;
(d) Possible options including strengthening existing institutions and mechanisms and the establishment of an intergovernmental panel on global environmental change;
(e) Links and sectoral integration;
(f) Duplication, cooperation, complementarity and added value to the work of other assessment processes, international agencies and the multilateral environmental agreements;
(g) Cost-effectiveness and efficiency; and
(h) Developing country participation and capacity-building;

4. Requests the Executive Director to make submissions publicly available and to prepare a synthesis report for the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum at its eighth special session;

5. Further requests the Executive Director, following the issuance of the report, to facilitate an intergovernmental consultation taking into account available funding, transparency, regional balance and adequate developing country participation, in preparation for the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum at its eighth special session.

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