|United Nations System-Wide
Working Party 4 (Geneva, 2-3 April 1998)
UNEP/EWWP4/5 of 6 March 1998
Agenda Item 8
UN SYSTEM REVIEW AND INPUT TO GEO-2
1. UNEP would like its second Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report to be a consensus document representing the best information available on the state of and trends in the global environment, incorporating a strong regional perspective. Regional consultations are being held around the world to review the first draft of the report. It is equally important that all the relevant organizations of the United Nations system, through the UN system-wide Earthwatch mechanism, have the opportunity to review and comment on the draft report, distributed to all Earthwatch focal points in mid-March.
2. GEO is a biennial report prepared by UNEP on the state of the global environment, through a consultative and de-centralized process. The first edition known as "GEO-1" was launched during UNEP's 19th Governing Council in January 1997, with "GEO-2" scheduled for publication in May 1999. GEO-1 was a major success, both as a global assessment and as a forward-looking analysis of environmental challenges, and it had a significant impact on the 5-year review of Agenda 21 by the Commission on Sustainable Development and the UN General Assembly Special Session in 1997. As one of the principal expressions of UNEP's role in the United Nations system in setting the global environmental agenda, it is important that the whole system participate in the formulation of GEO as the most authoritative statement on the world’s environment.
3. GEO-2 seeks to answer such questions as: how have we done in the current century in terms of the global environment? On what course are we entering the next millennium and therefore, what enhanced policies need to be put in place before the year 2015? The report aims at providing concrete guidance for international environmental action planning, policy setting and resource allocation for the next 15 years, based on a sound global analysis of the state of and trends in the world’s environment. GEO-2 also focuses (to a greater extent than GEO-1) on alternative policy options and emerging environmental issues, and includes a review of international environmental agreements and their impacts to date. Annex I contains the complete table of contents for GEO-2, and Annex II the GEO-2 production schedule.
4. The purpose of this system-wide consultation on GEO-2 is primarily to obtain advice and feedback from United Nations organizations and their experts on the draft report. This is first and foremost an opportunity to review the report in terms of contents, focus and the priorities discussed therein. It is worthwhile noting that the reviews of GEO-1 led to major changes in the first draft of the report, which was greatly improved as a result.
5. The Earthwatch Working Party will not be the only opportunity to comment on the draft of GEO-2. Comments in writing can be submitted to the GEO team at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi up to the end of May. All such inputs will be acknowledged.
Overall Table of Contents for the GEO-2 Report
Front matter (logos, foreword, table of contents, etc.) - 10 pages
Executive Summary and major conclusions - 15 pages
Chapter I - State of the
Environment - 160 pages
Chapter 2 - Review of Current
Policy Options - 75 pages
Chapter 3 - Review of International Agreements and their impacts - 45 pages
Chapter 4 - Alternative Policy Options for Future - 55 pages
Chapter 5 - New, Emerging Environmental Issues - 30 pages
Annexes - Acknowledgments, acronyms, etc. - 10 pages
Index - 5 pages
Overall Time Schedule for the Production of GEO-2
First GEO-2 Production meeting with Collaborating Centres - Groningen, the Netherlands - March 1997
Second GEO-2 Production meeting with Collaborating Centres - Beijing, China - May 1997
Third GEO-2 Production meeting with CollaboratingCentres - Manama, Bahrain - November 1997
Fourth GEO-2 Production meeting with Collaborating Centres - Brasilia, Brazil - February 1998
Assembly of first complete GEO-2 draft - February to March 1998
First complete GEO-2 regional sections draft to participants in the Regional Consultations - Beginning April 1998
Review of first complete regional GEO-2 draft by UN agencies, experts - April to June 1998
Regional Consultations (six regions) - May 1998
Assembly of the final complete GEO-2 draft - July-September 1998
Global Consultation (new in GEO process) - October 1998
Final editing, layout, type-setting, etc. - November 1998 - January 1999
GEO printing - February 1999
Pre-launch distribution to UNEP's Governing Council (GC-20) participants - March 1999
Public launch of GEO-2 at UNEP's GC-20 - May 1999