Improving long-term scientific assessment of the environment

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.

Agenda 21 recommends:< (a) Coordinating existing systems for gathering data and statistics relevant to developmental and environmental issues so as to support preparation of long-term scientific assessments - for example, data on resource depletion, import/export flow, energy use, health impact and demographic trends; applying the data obtained through research into ecosystems, ecological processes and developmental impact to environment/development assessments at the global, regional and local levels; promoting the wide distribution of these assessments in a form that is responsive to public needs and can be widely understood.

(b) Developing a methodology to carry out national and regional audits and a five-year global audit on an integrated basis. These standardized audits should help refine the pattern and character of development, examining in particular the capacities of global and regional life-supporting systems to meet the needs of human and non-human life forms and identifying areas and resources vulnerable to further degradation. This task would involve the integration of all relevant sciences at the national, regional and global levels, and would be organized by governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities and research institutions, assisted by international governmental and non-governmental organizations and UN bodies, when necessary and as appropriate. These audits should then be made available to the general public.

Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies