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About Earthwatch  

Earthwatch Activities

Earthwatch coordination is a service UNEP provides to the entire United Nations system in accordance with UN General Assembly resolutions, Agenda 21 and decisions of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC). This includes co-task manager with UN DESA for chapter 40 of Agenda 21: Information of decision making.

The UN System-wide Earthwatch Coordination secretariat established by UNEP in Geneva provides a central point of contact and liaison. The ACChas confirmed the role of UNEP to provide leadership and direction to the United Nations system-wide Earthwatch, to support inter-agency coordination of observation, assessment and reporting activities, and to assist in the joint programming and integration of results that will make Earthwatch an effective effort of the United Nations system to provide international environmental information required for decision-making.

An inter-agency Earthwatch Working Party of focal points in all the cooperating organizations has met annually since 1994 to provide a continuing mechanism for inter-agency liaison and coordination to implement the system-wide Earthwatch, supplemented by frequent electronic communication.

Specific activities are implemented by ad hoc interagency technical meetings or existing structures within the system as appropriate. The aim is to maintain flexible informal arrangements able to respond dynamically to the need for increasing coordination and collaboration without creating undue bureaucracy or excessive burdens on already overstretched organizations.

Through the Earthwatch site on the World Wide Web and other measures, Earthwatch facilitates access to programmatic and environmental information and pertinent data held by all parts of the UN system. The network of Earthwatch partners strengthens the working relationships among UN organizations and with the environmental Convention Secretariats and appropriate international activities of governments and non-governmental organizations. Earthwatch also provides an interface with international research and observation programmes concerning the global environment.


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UNEP/DEWA/Earthwatch 1996-2003