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Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme.............................................................

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Presentation on theme: "Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme............................................................."— Presentation transcript:

1 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme Ecoterm II Linking environmental terminologies to facilitate information sharing Environmental Terminology Workshop Umweltbundesamt, Berlin, 15 April 2005 UNEP perspective on challenges and opportunities Capacity Building and Partnerships Section Division of Early Warning and Assessment United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Nairobi, Kenya

2 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme UNGA resolution 2997 (XXVII)  Keep under review the world environmental situation in order to ensure that emerging environmental problems of wide international significance receive appropriate and adequate consideration by Governments.  Promote the contribution of the relevant international scientific and other professional communities to the acquisition, assessment and exchange of environmental knowledge and information.  Build capacity and promote technology support for undertaking national and engaging in international processes for monitoring, assessment and early warning.

3 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme Catalytic role of UNEP (UNGA Res. 2997)  UNEP in a transition phase : Normative role (environmental governance, law & policy development). vs Operational role (more focus on the national level technical activities; capacity building, technology support, etc).  Environmental assessment is a major programme activity & is well funded ….. BUT ….. not enough attention has been paid to data issues - standards, metadata, interoperability, metadata registries, collection, management, dissemination, exchange, terminology/ontologies.  How can Ecoterm help in focussing attention on the importance of linking environmental terminologies?

4 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme The fragmented assessment landscape

5 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme  Operational framework (how, who)  Modular framework (what, where) Environment Watch framework Theme 1 Theme 2 Theme n Region a Region b

6 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme Modular framework EW-Biodiversity-Global EW-Kenya-Biodiversity Biodiversity Africa All Regions All Themes Biodiversity EW-Africa EW-Kenya EW-Global EW-Biodiversity-Africa EW-Biodiversity-Kenya

7 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme Operational framework

8 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme February 2005 UNEP GOVERNING COUNCIL (23 rd session) 1. Endorsed further development of the process to strengthen the scientific base of UNEP (the Science Initiative) Keeping the environment under review Proposed Environment Watch framework to keep the world environmental situation under review – a more coherent approach Focus Ecoterm cooperation under this framework 2. Endorsed Bali Strategic Plan for Capacity Building and Technology Support Assess needs of partners – national and regional Improve data availability, accessibility, and flows Show relevance of Ecoterm under Bali Plan (ideas?)

9 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme Development of Environment Watch: - priority actions of relevance to Ecoterm Ongoing consultations with governments and scientific community Linking all capacity building & technology support to Bali Plan Revitalising networking structures and partnerships for information and data management (Ecoterm is one such partnership) Promoting the use of environmental indicators (data survey - UNSD) Addressing data availability, accessibility, quality issues Future development of UNEP.Net as an information discovery tool Need to consider role of Ecoterm activities in this context

10 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme Ecoterm - environmental terminology partnership Spin off activity from Ecoinformatics partnership (USEPA, EEA, USGS, UNEP, JRC …) - international cooperation on ICTs for the environment Partners - Ecoinformatics group + other interested stakeholders (IGOs/UN, scientific institutions, governments, corporate) - terminology developers, IT professionals, those interested in multilinguality Start-up meeting: Geneva April 2004 – hosted by UNEP with programming support from USEPA, EEA, USGS 42 participants - 32 organizations - 4 sectoral groups (IGOs/UN, scientific institutions, governments, corporate) Day 1: information exchange (presentations) Day 2: opportunities for collaboration (brainstorming)

11 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme Outcome of Geneva start-up meeting: Agreed ‘wish list’ of activities classified as follows: - Administrative - Technical - Marketing & Communications Administrative: - name of group (Ecoterm) - mission statement: Linking environmental terminologies to facilitate information sharing - plan annual meeting (subject to budgetary constraints) Funding - ad hoc … seed funding from UNEP but no formal budget and no project proposal as yet

12 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme Technical (non- exhaustive list) - develop implementations of web services e.g. GEMET as a web service - identify use cases e.g. KOSs for European Spatial Data Infrastructure (INSPIRE) - cooperation with SWAD-E project (make GEMET available in SKOS format) - possibility of registering KOSs in a UDDI format - review the taxonomy and definition of relationship types with SKOS - develop a list of standards and other resources related to SKOSs - review technology options

13 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme Marketing & Communications (non- exhaustive list) - Terminology page on Ecoinformatics website - Make presentations & questionnaires from Geneva meeting available - Listerserv for Ecoterm group - Promote Ecoterm at conferences (GEOSS, EnvironInfo, Open Forum) - Liaison with W3C Semantic Web Activity - Best Practices and Deployment WG - Extension of GEMET/ENVOC to other languages - Draft Ecoterm agreement for potential partners - Increase visibility of environmental KOSs Infrastructure (INSPIRE)

14 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP Perspective: 2004 (“taking stock and planning ahead”) Ecoterm partnership launched but relatively low key vis-à-vis UNEP work programme - need to increase visibility UNEP/DEWA Data and Information Management strategy (includes Ecoterm) but activities put “on hold” pending finalisation of strategy Re-engineering of UNEP.Net (good cooperation with FAO) Formulation of Environment Watch framework (has captured attention of Governments) 23rd session of UNEP Governing Council (further development of Environment Watch)

15 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP Perspective: 2005 (“transition and pilot testing”) Continue consultations on Environment Watch and pilot test Revitalise networking structures (EIONET++ model of national reference centres linked with thematic centres of excellence) Re-launch UNEP.Net (S. Khan presentation later) Needs assessment for Bali Plan (environmental data availability and accessibility) Data & indicators work with UNSD (many data variables - Ecoterm could assist in describing concepts and relationships - has implications for construction of environmental indicators) Report back to Governing Council (Dubai, Feb 2006 Special Session)

16 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP Perspective: Ecoterm activities in 2005 Encourage partners to develop demo web services (lot of potential... but need to set priorities and focus) UNEP will aim to add 4-6 languages to GEMET / EARTh (Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese, Thai, Korean) Explore development of enhanced multilingual search interface for UNEP.Net (S. Khan to discuss later) Environmental Ontology Service with EOS-OWL and EOS-SKOS similar to AGROVOC work-in-progress (A.Miles & M. Sini to discuss later)

17 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP Perspective: Ecoterm activities in 2005 (contd) Data & indicators work with UNSD (many data variables - Ecoterm could assist in describing concepts and relationships - has implications for construction of environmental indicators) UNEP funding for Ecoterm has been ad hoc - need to formalise and make medium term commitment (2006-8) - but Ecoterm group needs to explore other sources of funding and develop a project proposal Immediate need to commit funding for 2006 Ecoterm III meeting somewhere in Europe (Rome, Cambridge, Copenhagen,..) UNEP welcomes link between Ecoterm and W3C Semantic Web Activity - Best Practices and Deployment WG and encourages Ecoterm partners to develop examples of best practice

18 Intergovernmental Consultation on Strengthening the Scientific Base of the United Nations Environment Programme Thank you for your attention Capacity Building and Partnerships Section Division of Early Warning and Assessment United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Nairobi, Kenya


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