Agenda 21 recommends:
The Global Environment Monitoring System (GEMS-UNEP) ensures that comprehensive assessments are made of major environmental sectors and issues. This ensures the provision of early warning of environmental changes by analysing monitoring data. Areas of concentration: monitoring related to atmosphere and climate; environment pollution; terrestrial renewable resources; collection of environmental data. An inter-agency mechanism for examining possible situations of mass population displacement is being managed by the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs.
The need for an accurate picture of events on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia is being met by the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), part of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). IRIN, which was born out of the 1994 crisis in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, pioneered the use of e-mail and web technology to deliver and receive information to and from some of the most remote and underdeveloped places in Africa, cheaply and efficiently. Its reporting focuses on strengthening universal access to timely, strategic and non-partisan information so as to enhance the capacity of the humanitarian community to understand, respond to and avert emergencies. IRIN further supports efforts at conflict resolution and reconciliation by countering misinformation and propaganda.
HazardNet is a prototype natural and technological hazard information sharing network under development as a collaborative demonstration project of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR). The goal of HazardNet is to enhance the timeliness, quality, quantity, specificity and accessibility of information for persons and organizations world-wide concerned with preventing, mitigating or preparing for or large-scale natural and technological emergencies. When fully operational HazardNet will consist of the following services: (1) Map of the World - presented to the user when entering HazardNet will be the basis for identifying locations of hazardous events; (2) Operational Service - providing access to real-time hazard alerts, warnings and forecasts, situation reports, news accounts, Geographic Information System (GIS) along with country facts, demographics and other relevant information separated by hazard type. This service is to be used in monitoring early warnings and alerts in order to stimulate effective and timely international response; (3) Informational Service - providing access to natural and technological information identified/categorized by hazard type.