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GEO Year Book 2004/5  
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GEO Indicators


The set of GEO indicators gives a compact, illustrated overview of global trends in major issues related to the environment, depicting changes over the last years. The selected data are a mix of environmental pressures, states, impacts and responses.

The overall data situation continues to improve steadily - if slowly - although many data gaps and shortcomings still persist. The availability of data on threatened species and ozone depleting substances has significantly improved recently. Many data sets have been updated during the year - including the use of energy resources, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, protected areas and catch of living marine resources. Others are updated on a more occasional basis. Currently the most problematic data are those for consumption and quality of freshwater, household and other wastes, urban air pollution, forest cover change, land degradation, and data related to coastal and marine areas.

The graphics incorporate the most recent year for which data are available. Compared to the GEO Year Book 2003, indicators have been added for renewable energy supply, consumption of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and methyl bromide, marine protected areas, freshwater quality and urban air pollution. The indicators for use of freshwater and forest cover were not included this year, because there are no new comprehensive data available.

In the course of 2004, the set of GEO indicators was reviewed as part of an assessment of sustainability indicators by a consortium of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), UNEP, the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) and the European Environment Agency. Where possible, the recommendations of the review have been reflected in the current key set.

The indicators are grouped by thematic areas and environmental issues. Where appropriate the corresponding indicator for the environmental targets of the Goals in the Millennium Declaration is given. Definitions of terms used, information sources and technical notes are provided in an Annex. The data are presented at the global, regional and, in a few cases, sub-regional level, based on the regional classification used in the GEO assessment (UNEP 2002). All data and documentation have been extracted from the GEO Data Portal, which holds the reference database for use in the GEO assessment and reporting process (http://geodata.grid.unep.ch/).


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