Improving access to sustainable development information

Removing constraints to distribution of environmental data
Improving availability of knowledge on sustainability

Agenda 21 recommends that countries and international organizations should consider undertaking surveys of information available in the private sector on sustainable development and of present dissemination arrangements. This would enable determination of gaps and how those gaps could be filled by commercial or quasi-commercial activity, particularly activities in and/or involving developing countries where feasible. Whenever economic or other constraints on supplying and accessing information arise, particularly in developing countries, innovative schemes for subsidizing such information-related access or removing the non-economic constraints should be considered.

Sustainability is a multivariable issue involving physical, chemical, biological, socio-economic as well as political dimensions with humans as the major driving force. Sustainable development requires wide participation from and consultation with various stakeholders. The use of spatial information and appropriate decision support tools has become essential in raising awareness, providing scenarios, reaching consensus and making decisions on a wide range of sustainability issues. Similarly, such information and tools are also indispensable for evaluating the progress, assessing the trends and monitoring the impact of responses to environmental pressures by human beings.

This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.


The Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) is an evolving, informal partnership of public, private and not-for-profit organizations. Partner organizations are committed to sharing information, experiences and resources to promote broad access to, and effective use of, knowledge and information as tools of sustainable, equitable development.

Facilitated by:
Networking the environment and development arena
Investing in internet development
Interpreting environmental information
Developing broad environmental education
Integrating sustainable development information
Improving UN networks for sustainable development
Organizing information needed for development purposes
Involving indigenous peoples in planning national policies
Sharing information technology for sustainable development
Linking different environmental information electronic networks
Surveying private sector information on sustainable development
Ensuring exchange of scientific data on sustainable development
Improving ability to analyse information on sustainable development
Coordinating international sustainable development information programmes
Sharing private sector information and experience on sustainable development
Providing technology and training for local environmental information services
Fostering regional cooperation on specialized information services
Reporting sources of environmental information used by international organizations
Developing mechanisms for efficient and harmonized environmental information exchange
Developing initiatives on electronic links to improve environmental information sharing
Supporting cooperative international arrangements on environmental information among countries
Using appropriate standards and communication protocols for electronic communication on the environment
Networking global rural development
Promoting good practice in health, environment and safety management
Planning for communication development
Relating methods of human development
Disseminating environmental information
Networking trade and development NGOs
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal