Using new techniques of data collection on sustainable development
Agenda 21 recommends that countries and, upon request, international organizations should carry out inventories of environmental, resource and developmental data, based on national/global priorities for the management of sustainable development. They should determine the gaps and organize activities to fill those gaps. It indicates that, within the organs and organizations of the United Nations system and relevant international organizations, data-collection activities, including those of Earthwatch and World Weather Watch, need to be strengthened, especially in the areas of urban air, freshwater, land resources (including forests and rangelands), desertification, other habitats, soil degradation, biodiversity, the high seas and the upper atmosphere. In addition to the strengthening of existing development-related data collection, Agenda 21 points out that special attention needs to be paid to such areas as demographic factors, urbanization, poverty, health and rights of access to resources, as well as special groups, including women, indigenous peoples, youth, children and the disabled, and their relationships with environment issues.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities. Agenda 21 recommends that countries and international organizations should make use of new techniques of data collection, including satellite-based remote sensing.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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