The monitoring and reporting of data and indicators require a coordinated approach and the strengthening of many existing local, national and international initiatives. An analysis of data issues highlights the need for a mechanism that brings together the compilers of global assessments on sustainable development (as data users) and key actors in the production and dissemination of the required data. The mechanism would identify and take initiatives to address critical and common data gaps for global assessment, paying particular attention to data access and data sharing.
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 the establishment and maintenance of information, monitoring and assessment systems and databases.