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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:

A Brief Summary Report

Thomas Rosswall

International Council for Science (ICSU)

slide2
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
slide3
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
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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
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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
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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)
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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
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Interlinkages (cont.)
  • Ensure linkages to the GEO process and products
  • Build on the needs and gaps identified in the questionnaire survey
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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
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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
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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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