A number of international scientific research programmes for the global environment, such as the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, the World Climate Research Programme and the International Human Dimensions of Global Change Programme, are addressing the challenging questions raised by global change and human pressures. At the level of operational information gathering, an increasing number of national institutions and experts are contributing to the global monitoring efforts of the different global environmental observing systems: the Global Climate Observing System, the Global Ocean Observing System and the Global Terrestrial Observing System.
Scientists are participating in bodies such as the Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety, the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests and the subsidiary scientific and technical bodies under the climate change, biodiversity and desertification conventions. These bodies provide scientific and technical input to intergovernmental negotiations and the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements. Scientists also participate in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Joint Group of Experts on Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (Fritz 1998).