Presentation on theme: "Sessions at a Glance Session 1: UNEP’s Assessment Mandate"— Presentation transcript:
1Module 1: The GEO approach to integrated environmental assessment and reporting
2Sessions at a Glance Session 1: UNEP’s Assessment Mandate Session 2: GEO Rational and IEA FrameworkSession 3: The GEO Process and ProductsSession 4: Assessment and Reporting related to IEA
3UNEP’s Assessment Mandate Since 1972, UNEP has had a mandate to review the global environment.This was to be fulfilled in two main ways:establish a common methodology for the assessment of environmental developments and prepare reports;prepare reports on the state of and outlook for the environment for regions and internationally.Decision on environmental assessment at the UN Conference on Human Environment, Stockholm, 1972One of the early decisions of the international community on environmental assessment and reporting highlighted the following:To facilitate the development of social and cultural indicators for the environment, in order to establish a common methodology for assessing environmental developments and preparing reports on the subjects.To prepare, on the basis of (the) national reports on the state of, and outlook for, the environment, periodic reports on regional or sub-regional situations and on the international situation in this matter.
4UNEP’s Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) DEWA implements the UNEP mandate with the following mission:Provide the world community with improved access to meaningful environmental data and information, and to help increase the capacity of governments to use environmental information for decision making and action planning for sustainable human development.UNEP’s Division of Early Warning and AssessmentThe Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) is one of eight UNEP sub-programmes (divisions) responsible for implementing UNGA Resolution The DEWA mission is to:"Provide the world community with improved access to meaningful environmental data and information, and to help increase the capacity of governments to use environmental information for decision making and action planning for sustainable human development."
5UNEP’s GEO AssessmentGEO Assessment is the UN’s flagship assessment reporting processDEWA, in collaboration with other programs and partners worldwide, manages GEOReports have been published in 1995, 1997, 1999, 2003 and 2005.DEWA, in collaboration with other UNEP programmes, and with other partners around the world, implements the UNGA resolution by, among other activities, managing GEO, the UNEP flagship assessment reporting process. In collaboration with other sub-programmes as well as other partners around the world, DEWA implements the UNGA resolution by, among other activities, managing GEO, the UNEP flagship assessment reporting process. The first GEO assessment report was initiated in 1995 by UNEP Governing Council in its decision 18/27, which requested UNEP’s Executive Director to prepare a new, comprehensive report on the present and future state of the world environment, including possible response measures. Following the establishment of the GEO process and production of the first GEO report, the Governing Council renewed the mandate for GEO in 1997, 1999 and 2003 and 2005. The Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF) decisions in 2003 and 2005 facilitated the preparation of GEO-4. See the reports from the UNEP Governing Council: GC19/3; GC20/1; GC22/1/IB; GC23/6
6Building Capacity and the Bali Strategic Plan A plan to help countries achieve environmental sustainability through technology and capacity buildingAdopted by UNEP’s Governing Council in 2005Gives UNEP a mandate to assist with capacity building at national and regional levelsThree priority areas:integration and implementation of environmental aspects of national sustainable development planssupport national institutions with data collection and monitoringdevelop capacity for research, monitoring, assessment and early warningIn 2005, UNEP's Governing Council adopted the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building, which identifies priority areas, including:preparation, integration and implementation of environmental aspects of national sustainable development plans;support to national and regional institutions in data collection, analysis and monitoring of environmental trends; anddevelopment of national research, monitoring and assessment capacity, including training in assessment and early warning. Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP/GC.23/6/Add.1The objectives of the plan include strengthening the capacity of governments of developing countries as well as of countries with economies in transition, at all levels to:comply with international agreements and implement their obligations at the national level;achieve their environmental goals, targets and objectives, as well as environment-related internationally agreed-upon development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration, the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the outcomes of other major United Nations conferences and international agreements, thus enhancing the environmental sustainability of their countries’ development; andprovide a framework for capacity building to ensure the effective participation of developing countries as well as countries with economies in transition in negotiations concerning multilateral environmental agreements.The Bali Strategic Plan provides a mandate for UNEP to be involved in capacity building related to IEA at the regional and national levels. Regional and national IEAs have become common. , They follow ing the GEO approach, but derive ing their mandates separately, either from regional or national agreements and laws, have become common
7Discussion: GEO’s Mandate and Evolution (20 minutes) What is your understanding of the role of GEO in implementing its mandate since 1972?The GEO approach to IEA has constantly evolved since the process started in What are the advantages and disadvantages of this approach?
8Sessions at a Glance Session 1: UNEP’s Assessment Mandate Session 2: GEO Rational and IEA FrameworkSession 3: The GEO Process and ProductsSession 4: Assessment and Reporting related to IEA
9GEO Objectives1. Provide decision-makers with access to the best available scientific knowledge.2. Facilitate interaction between science and policy.3. Build geographic and gender-balanced relationships for environmental decision-making.
10What is Assessment?“the entire analytical process for undertaking a critical objective evaluation and analysis of data and information designed to meet user needs and support decision-making. It applies the judgment of experts to existing knowledge to provide scientifically credible answers to policy relevant questions, quantifying where possible the level of confidence”
11GEO: An Integrated Approach Answers 5 Key QuestionsMost assessments stop at this question
12What is Integrated Environmental Assessment (IEA)? A participatory and structured approach that links knowledge and actionlinks environmental state and trend analysis with policy analysis;incorporates global and sub-regional perspectives;includes historical and future perspectives;covers a broad spectrum of issues and policies; andintegrates environmental change and human well-being.IEA further enables policy-makers to address complex challengesIntegrated Environmental Assessment provides a participatory, structured approach to linking knowledge and action. Over time, GEO has developed an increasingly integrated approach to environmental assessment, the use of indicators and reporting. The “integrated approach” to answering the questions illustrated in Figure 1 above is an umbrella term for:i) linking the analysis of environmental state and trends of the environment analysis with the policy analysis;ii) incorporating global and sub-global perspectives;iii) incorporating historical and future perspectives; iv) covering a broad spectrum of issues and policies; and(v) integrating the consideration of environmental change and human well-being.Policy-makers often face a growing list of environmental challenges. Many of these are complex, have a direct or indirect effect on human well-being, and require enhanced understanding to support effective response measures and action. The GEO integrated environmental assessment approach has strengthened the accessibility of reliable environmental data and information for improved policy-making at different levels. Today, there is greater investment by the international community and governments in environmental assessments, both in terms of human and financial resources. Despite the availability of considerable information on state and trends of the global environmentNevertheless, there is still continuing a lack inadequacy of adequate data, and there is a deterioration of monitoring and data collection systems. Despite the availability of considerable information on state and trends of the global environment, policymakers often face a growing list of environmental challenges. Many of these are complex, have a direct or indirect effect on human well-being, and require enhanced understanding to support effective response measures and action.
13Discussion: Using an Integrated Approach (20 minutes) In groups of 3–4 people, choose an issue, and discuss:Why is an integrated approach needed to address this issue? If you chose not to use an integrated approach, what approach would you follow, and how would that be weaker?What policy sectors need to be addressed (energy, agriculture, trade, transport, health, etc.)?How is the problem linked to events at the global level (e.g., UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, World Trade Organization or other UN conventions)?How could this issue evolve over the coming two decades?
14HUMAN SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT P – PRESSURES: S STATE and trends: D GlobalLocalRegionalTIME:-2015(short term) (medium term)(long term)P–PRESSURES:Human interventions inthe environment:LanduseResource extractionExternal inputs (fertilisers,chemicals, irrigation)Emissions (pollutants andwaste)Modification andmovement of organismsNatural processes:Solar radiationVolcanoesEarthquakesSSTATE and trends:Natural capital:atmosphere, land, water and biosphereEnvironmental impacts and changeClimate Change and Depletion of the Stratospheric Ozone LayerBiodiversity changePollution, degradation and / or depletion of air, water, minerals andland (including desertification)DDRIVERS:Material, Human and Social CapitalsHuman development:Population demographicsEconomic processes(consumption,production, markets and trade)Scientific and technological innovationDistribution pattern processes(interandintragenerational)Cultural, social, political and institutional(including production and service sectors)processesRRESPONSESto environmental challenges:formal and informal adaptation to,and mitigation of, environmentalchange (including restoration) byaltering human activity anddevelopment patterns within andbetween the,Iboxes i.a.through:science and technology,policy, law and institutions.IMPACTSChange in human wellbeingbroadly defined as humanfreedoms of choice and actions,i.ato achieve:securitybasic material needsgood healthgood social relationswhich may result in humandevelopmentorpoverty, inequityand human vulnerability.Demographic, social(institutional)and materialfactors determininghumanwellEnvironmental factorsdetermining human wellEcological servicessuch asProvisioning services(consumptive use), Culturalservices (nonconsumptive use),Regulating services andSupporting services (indirect use)Nonecosystem naturalresourcesi.e. hydrocarbons,minerals and renewable energyStress. diseases, pests,radiation and hazards–External inputs (fertilizers,STATE AND TRENDS:population demographicseconomic processesscientific and technological innovationdistribution pattern processesIntra-generational)cultural, social, political and institutionalboxes i.e.,provisioning services(consumptive use), culturalregulating services andsupporting services (indirect use)
15DPSIR Analytical Framework for Integrated Environmental Assessment HUMAN SOCIETYDRIVERSIndirect influence through human developmentPRESSURESSectorsHuman influencesNatural processesIMPACTSHuman well-beingEconomic,socialgoods &servicesDirect influence through human interventionsRESPONSESMitigation and adaptationEcosystem servicesSTATE AND TRENDS. The diagram recognizes two key domains of the Earth System: human society and the environment. It considers five basic elements: Drivers, Pressures, State and trends, Impacts and Responses. Drivers (including demographic changes, economic and societal processes) lead to more specific pressures on the environment (including land use change, resource extraction, emissions of pollutants and waste, and modification and movement of organisms). These pressures lead to changes of the state of the environment, which are in addition to those that result from natural processes. The environmental changes include climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion, changes in biodiversity and pollution or degradation of air water and soils. These changes lead to changes of the services that the environment provides to humankind, such as the provision of clean air and water, food and protection from ultra-violet radiation. As a result of changes in services and mediated by demographic, social and material factors, there are impacts on human well-being (health, material assets, good social relations and security). Responses include both formal and informal attempts to either adapt to the changes in environmental services or to reduce the pressures on the environment.Water, land, atmosphere, biodiversityENVIRONMENTStep 1 What is happening to the environment and why?Step 2 What are the consequences for the environment and humanity?Step 3 What is being done and how effective is it?
16Gender Mainstreaming What is Gender mainstreaming? Needs to be included in GEO Process and ProductsIs a continuous process with institutions, programs and analytical efforts.Experience has shown that the entire IEA process requires training accompanied by resources to build capacity in order to improve the skills to develop and use environmental information for decision -making. Increased capacity through learning-by-doing can be considered a concrete objective and benefit of a participatory IEA process.There is also a need for gender mainstreaming in the process and products. This has been addressed by Seager and Hartmann (2005), who show that gender mainstreaming is best understood as a continuous process of infusing both the institutional culture and the programmatic and analytical efforts of agencies with gendered perspectives. They illustrate best practices, assess successes and failures, review four areas of gendered environmental research (i.e., water, poverty, security/conflict, and vulnerability/disaster) and review the treatment of gender in GEO.
17Exercise: The GEO Framework Return to your groups of 3-4 people, and use the same environmental from the previous discussion.Identify drivers, pressures, state (and trends), impacts and responses.Discuss which of the drivers and pressures are at the national level and which are at the global level.Discuss which specific impacts on ecosystem services and human well-being are most relevant to the environmental issue of concern.
18Sessions at a Glance Session 1: UNEP’s Assessment Mandate Session 2: GEO Rational and IEA FrameworkSession 3: The GEO Process and ProductsSession 4: Assessment and Reporting related to IEA
19A Participatory Approach …is essential when dealing with complex issues where there is uncertainty and societal awareness is necessary.…facilitates interaction between science, decision-making and policy-making.…gives GEO assessments scientific credibility, accuracy and authority.
20GEO Participation and Consultation GEO Collaborating Centres at the core of the assessment process:comprehensive peer review with multiple stakeholdersadvisory groups provide conceptual and methodological guidanceexpert groups provide written contentInteractive online data portal at heart of consultation process
21GEO Themes State and trends biophysical resources Goods and services water and biodiversitySectoral analysis energy and tourismCross-cutting gender, diversity, povertyForward looking scenarios in the future…for example
22GEO Products global assessments (GEO-1, GEO-2 and GEO-3); GEO has a wide range of products, all based on the GEO Data Portal.global assessments (GEO-1, GEO-2 and GEO-3);GEO Yearbooks (2003; 2004/5; 2006);regional and sub-regional Reports;technical Reports; andGEO education products.
23Discussion: Mandate and Capacity for GEO (20 minutes) 1. What benefits does a strong mandate bring to an assessment process?Consider needs for financial support, policy relevance and the potential for getting recommendations implemented.What do you think are the most urgent capacity needs for carrying out an integrated environmental assessment in your country? Are there enough trained scientists, policy makers, managers and analysts? Do potential users have enough understanding of causes and consequences of and responses to environmental change?
24Discussion: Mandate and Capacity for GEO (20 minutes) What are the most urgent capacity needs for carrying out an integrated environmental assessment in your country?Are there enough trained scientists, policy- makers, managers and analysts?Do potential users have enough understanding of causes and consequences of and responses to environmental change?
25Sessions at a Glance Session 1: UNEP’s Assessment Mandate Session 2: GEO Rational and IEA FrameworkSession 3: The GEO Process and ProductsSession 4: Assessment and Reporting related to IEA
26Practices Similar to Integrated Environmental Assessment State of Environment (SoE) ReportingEnvironmental Impact Assessment (EIA)Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)Integrated Assessment
27State of Environment Reporting (SoE) SoE reporting is likely most relevant to IEAIt involves reporting on the condition of the environment.The report is based on human activities and impacts.Scientific protocols, including peer review, are used.SoE has a broad mandate to inform the public and decision-makers.SoE reports are a valuable resource when planning an assessment methodology.
28SoE Resources and Tools Relevant to IEA Organizational structure for reporting and governanceProcess designExpert and stakeholder participationPriority environmental issues and policiesInformation sources and toolsCommunication and impact strategies
29Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) A tool to assess the environmental impacts and risks of an activity.Purpose is to inform decision-makers and other stakeholders about impacts, andto suggest ways to reduce or minimize impacts.The quality of an EIA depends on the application of its framework and the quality of its science.
30Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Can be defined as:The systematic and comprehensive process of evaluating at the earliest possible stage, the environmental effects of a policy, plan or programme and its alternatives(adapted from Thérivel and Partidário 1996).
31Comparing and Contrasting SEA and IEA SEA is a methodology for policy analysis; EIA includes policy analysis in a broader approach.SEA does not involve regular reporting while IEA explicitly does.SEA may focus on one policy or programme while IEA scans the entire spectrum of relevant policies, and then singles out a priority policy.Essentially, SEA seeks to incorporate policy learning and adaptation in an early phase of policy planning.Various users define the term SEA in different ways. According to one commonly referenced definition, a SEA can be defined as the systematic and comprehensive process of evaluating at the earliest possible stage, the environmental effects of a policy, plan or programme and its alternatives (adapted from Thérivel and Partidário 1996).The key concept in this comparison is that the SEA process focuses on assessing all types of potential environmental impacts of proposed policies, plans, or programmes, and seeks to incorporate environmental considerations into the development of public policies. Its basic function is to facilitate policy learning and adaptation in an early phase, before policies are formalized, interests are entrenched and potential significant, irreversible damages occur.
32Exercise: Describing a National Environmental Reporting Initiative Form groups of 3–5 peopleDescribe a past or ongoing environmental reporting initiative in your country, using the format on the next slide.
33Name of initiativeOrganization responsibleFrequency of analysisGeographic coverageMain steps of reporting processKey participants involvedConceptual framework usedKey sections in the reportSoE ProductsHow information is used in policy development or analysis
34A few GEO Examples Regional: Africa National: Bhutan Sub-national: Mexico City
36Africa Environmental Outlook: Mandate and Process Process initiated in 2000 by the African Ministerial Conference on the EnvironmentAEO-1 launched in 2002 and AEO-2 launched in 2003AEO-2 involved six Collaborating Centres:Central AfricaEastern AfricaNorthern AfricaSouthern AfricaWestern AfricaWestern Indian Ocean Islands
37Africa Environmental Outlook: Issue Assessed Consultative group on data and issues was formed and sent to other stakeholders for comment.Issues areas included atmosphere, land, freshwater, forests and woodlands, coastal and marine environments, and biodiversityConsidered human drivers of environmental change and how these impacted on human well-being.Covered demographic change, poverty, social change (including gender and division of labour), health and educationHighlighted emerging issues such as alien species, chemicals, genetically modified crops and environment and security.For each of the sub-regions, the status and trends were assessed for: the atmosphere;, biodiversity;, coastal and marine systems;, forests;, land; and urban areas. In addition, a section was devoted to the complex relationships among environmental issues. The assessment showed that climate variability is common through Africa and limits development. Ambient air pollution, especially in urban centres, was noted as an emerging issue of concern. African biodiversity is subjected to increasing pressures due to habitat loss, over-harvesting, pollution and the introduction of alien species.; tThose trends are expected to increase over the next decade. Several pressures (such as urbanisation and tourism) combine to destabilize the coastal zones of Africa, leading, in some areas, for example, to pollution levels that threaten human health. Natural forests and woodlands in Africa have been drastically reduced since countries achieved independence. More than 20 per cent of Africa’s vegetated land is degraded, with the impacts of degradation felt most keenly by the poor. Some 38 per cent of the population of Africa now lives in urban areas, and this is expected to grow to 54 per cent by 2030, with an average rate of urbanisation of 3.5 per cent per year.
38Africa Environmental Outlook: Questions Addressed How and why is the environment important from a human perspective?How is the environment changing, and why, and what opportunities does it hold?Are there special issues, which affect the environment and development, that require immediate attention and new approaches?How will different policy choices affect the future?What can be done to ensure that environmental value is retained and the lives of people are improved?The AEO concluded that Africa's environment has deteriorated steadily, with poverty being the main cause of that degradation, and with the poor being its direct victims. High levels of poverty, in combination with increasing instances of climate variability and natural disasters, internal institutional weaknesses in Africa, and unfair trading practices in developed countries have made Africans more vulnerable physically, psychologically and economically. The collective African capacity to cope with increasing vulnerability is also generally low.To achieve a sustainable world, it was suggested that Africa must:reduce poverty;improve the state of the environment;improve management systems;reduce vulnerability to adverse environmental changes;promote regional and sub-regional cooperation;mobilize additional financial resources; andcreate an effective institutional structure to holistically manage the environment on a region-wide basis.Capacity buildingThe AEO report process successfully built capacity in state of the environment reporting, policy analysis, scenario development and integrated environmental assessment at national, sub-regional and regional levels in Africa. Capacity-building workshops were organized at sub-regional level for national experts and non-government organizations (NGOs) on the methodologies of state of the environment/policy retrospective reporting using the Pressure, State, Impacts and Responses (PSIR) framework, including methods of data management. A scenario development workshop was also held.Impact and follow-upThe AEO-1 report has had political impact at the highest level. The report was used as background document in the development of the NEPAD (New Partnership for African Development) Environment Action Plan, which was adopted by the African Union Heads of State summit in It was also endorsed in Chapter 8: Africa in the World Summit on Sustainable DevelopmentWSSD (WSSD) Plan of Implementation. In addition, it stimulated a number of additional resolutions at the AMCEN sessions. Because of data problems encountered in the preparation of the report, AMCEN also approved the Africa Environment Information Network (AEIN) to enhance data and information access and infrastructure in Africa. About 10 countries were involved in the pilot phase, and at least five of them have produced draft national environment outlook reports. The second phase will extend forward from 2006 and the number of countries involved will increase. By the end of 2007, more than 30 countries (out of 53) are likely to have produced national environment outlook reports because such reports are one of the required AEIN outputs at the national level. Overall, more countries are using the AEO/GEO methodology than ever before.in 2006, Africa Environment Outlook 2. Our Environment, Our Wealth (AEO-2) was published. It profiles Africa’s environmental resources as an asset for the continent’s development, and highlights the opportunities presented by the region’s natural resource base to support the continent’s development. The report underscores the concept of sustainable livelihoods, and the importance of the environmental initiatives in supporting them.
39Africa Environmental Outlook: Impact and Follow-up Used as background document in the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) Environment Action Plan adopted by the African Union Heads of State summit in 2003Endorsed in the World Summit on Sustainable DevelopmentThe Opportunities Framework in AOE-2 was embraced by the region with other assessment processes highlighting itThe 24th Session of the UNEP Governing Council /Global Ministerial Forum acknowledged the AEO-2 linking sustainable development and poverty reduction
40Discussion: Africa Environmental Outlook Were the findings surprising?Do you think they would be useful in setting policy?Are these findings different from what you would expect in your region?In what ways might you guide the process differently, if you were involved in a similar process, on a continental scale?
42Bhutan State of Environment Report Mandate Prepared in response to the recommendations of Agenda 21Initiated by UNEP in association with the South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme and the Royal Government of BhutanFinancial support from Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operationNational Environment Council (NEC) of the Bhutan government was the focal agencyThe Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in India, a UNEP collaborating centre, provided technical supportReport launched in 2001
43Bhutan State of Environment Report Objective To identify the key priority environmental issues,provide guidelines for environmental planning and policy development, andidentify alternative actions as options to offset negative environmental trends.
44Bhutan State of Environment Report Issues Assessed Rural-urban migrationLand degradationAir pollutionWater pollutionSolid waste management
45Bhutan State of Environment Report Conclusions Bhutan government committed to “middle path” of sustainable developmentLand degradation is a priority issue for BhutanA strong conservation ethic is contributing significantly to forest conservationAir pollution can be attributed to rapid urbanization, increasing industrial activities and vehicle numbersWater quality remains good, though could become vulnerable due to urbanizationSolid waste management is an emerging issue
46Bhutan State of Environment Report Impact and follow-up Established an environmental information systemMomentum and partial financial support gained for a second IEA reportSecond report now underway, and this time all resources and institutions involved are from Bhutan.While economic development is important to improve the quality of life of the people, strong policies, planning and institutional mechanisms, in addition to political will are essential to preserve socio-cultural and biological diversity. Systematic integrated planning needs to include environmental issues, policy, technological intervention and institutional mechanisms. This requires a coordinated and integrated planning process to ensure maximized positive socio-economic impacts and minimized negative environmental impacts. There is a need for an effective IEA to inform the process.Lessons learnedThe SoE preparation process not only provided useful training on reporting and data collection to forthe Bhutanese officials, but also helped people in Bhutan understand the importance of SoE reports and their implications for the day-to-day decision-making decision making process. One of the substantive effects that this initiative has had is recognition of the importance of SoEs for proper decision-making and for the subsequent preparation of the 2nd SoE report.Follow-upIn recognition of the importance of the SoE report, the Royal Government has now embarked on the 2nd SoE report, the cost of which is partly picked up by the Royal Government. This process will be completely in-country driven. All the resource persons and institutions involved in preparation of the second SoE will be from Bhutan.After the publication of the SoE report, Royal Government of Bhutan realized the importance of environmental data for the decision making. A project supported by the Danish International Development Agency was designed to establish the environment information system in the National Environment Council to strengthen environment assessment and reporting. This project is currently being implemented.Capacity buildingThe initiative has enhanced the capacity of Bhutan to make accurate environmental assessments resulting toin improved decision -making for towards sustainable development. It was an effective process that initiated and formalized environmental assessment and reporting in Bhutan. The tools for assessment and reporting employed in the process were useful in the day-to-day work and since the report was published, the Government of Bhutan has realized the importance of such assessments.
47Discussion; Bhutan State of Environment Report Were the findings surprising?Do you think they would be useful in setting policy?Are these findings different from what you would expect in your region?In what ways might you guide the process differently, if you were involved in a similar process, on a national scale?
48City Scale: Mexico City Largest urban area in Latin America and the CaribbeanCompleted a GEO Cities reportUsed a highly participatory process
49GeoCities Mandate Started in 2002 in response to calls by: UNEP’s Governing Council and the Global Ministerial Forum,the Initiative for Sustainable Development in Latin America and Caribbean region,the LAC Forum of Ministers, andthe Millennium Development Goals
50GeoCitiesAn initiative started in 2000 to extend GEO Assessment and Reporting to the city levelMore than 30 cities in the Latin and Caribbean region participateDiscussions for similar programs in Africa, Asia and the Pacific and Europe are underwayPossible cities include Nairobi, Lusaka, Dakar, Dhaka, Kathmandu and Shenzhen (China)
51GeoCities: Summary of Objectives Establish an IEA process;Contribute to local capacity training on IEA in an urban context;Establish consensus on the most critical environmental problems in each city; and,Promote the creation of networks of institutions in each city assessed.
52GEO Mexico City Process Process occurred from November 2001 to November 2003Specialist review in November 2002Consultation on final draft involved governmental officials, academics, representatives of NGOs and representatives of the private sector
53GEO Mexico City Issues Assessed Urbanization is accelerating in an unorganized way, using land reserved for conservationWater resources are severely impacted;Air pollution is critical, as limits are exceeded 80 per cent of the timeSolid waste is an emerging issue due to lack of spaceThere exists a reasonably good amount of green space, though many are not managed
54GEO Mexico City Conclusions Increased vulnerability resulting from loss of natural capital and degradation of environmental services.Risks resulting from inappropriate land use and technology.Daily impacts on health and well-being caused by environmental issues.Additional issues include population dynamics, unplanned land occupation, demand for water and consumption of energy.
55GEO Mexico City Impact and follow-up A communications systemA Report with user-friendly features:Hyperlinks embedded for navigationThematic overlays for visualization of relationships among variables and influencesWeb version allows users to update or add data to most recent information available
56GEO Mexico City Impact and follow-up Inclusion of the report and its findings in work and learning processes for different groups, such as academic, public and private institutions, through workshops;the environmental Ombudsman of Mexico recognizes the GEO Mexico City report and its findings as one of the principal sources of information and knowledge (NEXOS Magazine, January 2006);the Secretary of Environment used GEO Mexico City as a basic source to elaborate the city’s Local Agenda 21 proposal;the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is using the GEO Mexico City report as a source of information for the elaboration of its new Human Development Report.
57Discussion: GEO Mexico City Were the findings surprising?Do you think they would be useful in setting policy?Are these findings different from what you would expect in your region?In what ways might you guide the process differently, if you were involved in a similar process, on a national scale?