United Nations
Environment Programme

Global Environment Outlook 4

Global Environment Outlook 4
Environment for Development

The fourth Global Environment Outlook – environment for development ( GEO-4 ) places sustainable development at the core of the assessment, particularly on issues dealing with intra- and intergenerational equity. The analyses include the need and usefulness of valuation of environmental goods and services, and the role of such services in enhancing development and human well-being, and minimizing human vulnerability to environmental change. The GEO-4 temporal baseline is 1987, the year in which the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) published its seminal report, Our Common Future . The Brundtland Commission was established in 1983, under UN General Assembly resolution 38/161 to look at critical environment and development challenges. It was established at a time of an unprecedented rise in pressures on the global environment, and when grave predictions about the human future were becoming commonplace.

The year 2007 was a major milestone in marking what was achieved in the area of sustainable development and recording efforts – from local to global – to address various environmental challenges. It will be:

  • Twenty years since the launch of Our Common Future , which defined sustainable development as a blueprint to address our interlinked environment and development challenges.
  • Twenty years since the UNEP Governing Council adopted the “Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond”, to implement the major findings of the WCED and set the world on a sustainable development path.
  • Fifteen years since the World Summit on Environment and Development (the Rio Earth Summit), adopted Agenda 21, providing the foundation on which to build intra- and intergenerational equity.
  • Five years since the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002, which adopted the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.

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