Ensuring competent environmental research

Increasing competence of environmental scientists
A concept of 'new national systems of innovation' is emerging, which favours more interaction among universities, scientific research organizations, government agencies and the private sector. The net result should be an improvement in the scientific basis of policy-making (UNCSD 1998a).
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).

1. While such research and improved environmental monitoring must continue, the need for further study should not be taken as an excuse for postponing action on critical environmental problems. In almost all areas, there is enough knowledge to initiate actions such as reducing harmful subsidies or organizing public/private partnerships for resource management. New information from research can then help to refine policy action.
Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 15: Life on Land