United Nations
Environment Programme

GEO-5 Summary for Policy Makers

GEO-5 Summary for Policy Makers

The GEO-5 assessment report has three distinct, yet related parts:

Part 1 is an assessment of the state and trends of the global environment in relation to key internationally agreed goals such as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed in 2000 and goals of various multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) based on national, regional and global analyses and datasets. It provides an evaluation of the gaps in achieving internationally agreed goals and their indicative implications for human well-being.

Part 2 of the assessment prioritizes a varying number of environmental themes per region and selected internationally agreed goals under each theme through a consultative process. The regional assessments focus on identifying policy responses that would help speed up the achievement of internationally agreed goals. It has been observed that there are many policies that have been shown to work in more than one country, but these policies need to be more widely supported, adopted and implemented according to national conditions to speed up the achievement of internationally agreed goals. The analysis is presented using case studies that illustrate the application of policies at a national or transboundary level within each region and presents the benefits and drawbacks of implementing the policies and the enabling factors and barriers that enhance or impede their uptake.

Limited evidence of the potential for policy transfer to other countries or other regions is documented, as often there is insufficient empirical evidence to make categorical statements on policy success or transferability.

Among the long list of policy responses found to be effective, some highly promising approaches are described in the regional chapters. Together, these form a possible policy agenda that would support an inclusive green economy approach and are worthy of closer analysis by governments when examining new policy options.

Part 3 identifies possible options for action to transition towards sustainable development including through increased coordination, participation and cooperation required to support the achievement of internationally agreed goals and work towards sustainable development at the global level. The development of GEO-5 involved extensive collaboration between UNEP and a multi-disciplinary network of experts, all of whom made their valuable time and knowledge available to the process in recognition of its importance.

For the first time, authors, reviewers and members of three specialized groups were nominated by governments and other stakeholders. UNEP then followed a selection process. The following three GEO-5 specialized advisory bodies were convened to support the assessment process:

  • The GEO-5 High Level Intergovernmental Advisory Panel: The Panel identified the internationally agreed goals that underpin the assessment. The Panel also provided guidance to authors in the drafting of this Summary for Policy Makers (SPM).
  • The Science and Policy Advisory Board: The Board was responsible for strengthening the scientific credibility and policy relevance of the assessment by providing guidance throughout and undertaking an evaluation of the assessment process.
  • The Data and Indicators Working Group: The Group provided support to the assessment process on core data.

The SPM is based on and consistent with the findings of the GEO-5 assessment. The GEO-5 Summary for Policy Makers was negotiated and endorsed at an intergovernmental meeting from 29 to 31 January 2012 in the City of Gwangju, Republic of Korea.

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