Scientific and Technical Meeting on Strengthening the Scientific Base of UNEP:
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Scientific and Technical Meeting on Strengthening the Scientific Base of UNEP: A Brief Summary Report Thomas Rosswall International Council for Science (ICSU). The Context. Important UNEP initiative Science is essential to identify environmental problems and develop solutions

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Scientific and technical meeting on strengthening the scientific base of unep

Scientific and Technical Meeting on Strengthening the Scientific Base of UNEP:

A Brief Summary Report

Thomas Rosswall

International Council for Science (ICSU)


Scientific and technical meeting on strengthening the scientific base of unep

The Context

  • Important UNEP initiative

  • Science is essential to identify environmental problems and develop solutions

  • Policy development should be based on best available knowledge

  • Scientific research – monitoring – assessment - policy


Scientific and technical meeting on strengthening the scientific base of unep

Central Issues

  • Input necessary from natural, social, engineering and health sciences

  • Partnerships are essential: - With the international science community (e.g ICSU and TWAS) - With other components of the UN system (e.g., UNESCO) - With ongoing and planned assessments - With Multilateral Environmental Agreements


Scientific and technical meeting on strengthening the scientific base of unep

The Survey

  • Provides an excellent point of departure

  • Results are important both for the scientific and policy communities

  • Question 3 identifies needs and gaps to be linked with the 5 clusters of Box 1

  • Rich discussion in the Scientific and Technical Meeting

  • Broad participation in the consultation


Scientific and technical meeting on strengthening the scientific base of unep

Recommendations

  • Rich input to UNEP Secretariat but this report focuses on two issues

  • Interlinkages of drivers of change and sectors

  • Strengthening the scientific credibility of the GEO process


Scientific and technical meeting on strengthening the scientific base of unep

Interlinkages

  • A targeted report linked to the GEO process

  • Mainstreaming environment into the development agenda – MDG and JPI

  • Provide an overview of the assessment “landscape”

  • Meet objectives of MEAs (partnerships)

  • Build on assessment interlinkages reports (e.g., IPCC, CBD, MA, GEF-STAP)


Scientific and technical meeting on strengthening the scientific base of unep

Interlinkages (cont.)

  • Address spatial (global, regional, national) and temporal scales

  • Include capacity building as an essential component

  • Adaptive management and social learning

  • UNEP ED to set up an advisory committee to focus on scope, key questions (based on questionnaire), authors and time table


Scientific and technical meeting on strengthening the scientific base of unep

Interlinkages (cont.)

  • Ensure linkages to the GEO process and products

  • Build on the needs and gaps identified in the questionnaire survey


Scientific and technical meeting on strengthening the scientific base of unep

Science and GEO

  • It is essential to strengthen the scientific credibility of GEO

  • Strengthen linkages with other assessments and the international scientific community (e.g., ICSU and its SCOPE)

  • Ensure that a sufficient number of collaborative centres with high scientific credibility are involved


Scientific and technical meeting on strengthening the scientific base of unep

Science and GEO (cont.)

  • Address multiple scales

  • Improve the review process

  • For capacity building, collaborate with the various institutions involved and link to, e.g., UN Decade on education for sustainable development

  • As one example, for GEO4, look specifically climate change and biodiversity interlinkages


Scientific and technical meeting on strengthening the scientific base of unep

To strengthen the scientific base of UNEP is essential, but this consultation was just a first step in a necessary process.

Much more is needed!

Science must become more policy relevant and the scientific community is ready to contribute.


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