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Global Environmental Governance

This theme focuses on the need for knowledge and skills in order to understand and manage the highly complex, dynamic, and often non-linear environmental, economic and social issues. The focal areas include interlinkages between multilateral environmental agreements, global climate change, and integrated global modeling.
This theme of activity focuses on the need for knowledge and skills in order to comprehend and manage the complex and often, non-linear linkages between environmental, economic and social issues. For successful achievement of this a long-term view has to be taken while being responsive to the immediate needs and realities. It is in this context of interactions between ecosystems, economic sectors and societies in general, that ESD Programme has identified a role for itself as a bridge between policy formulation and its implementation. Within the periphery of this theme, four key areas of activity are addressed.

The UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED, 1992) marked a global consensus on several fundamental environment and development issues, resulting in convergence of intellectual and political energy towards the need for improving the interaction between mankind and the environment. Since then, urgency has been placed on combined efforts to mobilize the intellectual and scientific community in support of environmentally sustainable development; environmental governance at a global scale forms a critical component of this discussion.

The discussions related to global environmental governance focus on the need for knowledge and skills in order to understand and manage the highly complex, dynamic, and often non-linear environmental/economic/social. To successfully achieve this, a long-term view has to be taken while remaining responsive to immediate needs and realities. Additionally, there is a strong need to keep sight of global nature of issues and sustainable development postulates, although action to implement them may generally have to be taken (and research be carried out) at the national or regional level.

This indicates that serving as a bridge between theory and knowledge on the one hand and policy and action on the other has also become of extreme importance. In this context, the ESD programme has identified its role within the UN System and to the global community in general. The main focus for the UNU is to provide research on the inter-action between ecosystems, economic sectors, and society.

In this section description for four key activity areas is provided: Global Climate Change; Integrated Policy making; Societal Impacts of El Niño / La Niña; and Integrated Global Modeling. It is foreseen that these activities will continue beyond the next biennium and will provide an essential input to the various debates related to climate change.

Projects and Initiatives:
Inter-linkages – Integrated Policy Making
This UNU initiative strives to promote policy research on linkages between different MEAs at both national and international levels. The results are disseminated through policy briefs pertinent to implementation strategies and mechanisms.

Forum for Globally-Integrated Environmental Assessment Modeling
An international Forum for Globally-Integrated Assessment Modeling is proposed by the United Nations University (UNU) and RIVM. As the name suggests, its main purpose is to develop a periodic exchange platform for discussions and brainstorming on the issue of globally-integrated environmental assessment, notably model-supported assessment.

Climate Affairs Program
The purpose of Climate Affairs Program is to foster the development of multi-disciplinary programs at colleges, universities, and other educational training institutes in developing countries around the globe. The first and foremost goal of this activity is to develop an awareness among educators in a variety of disciplines that climate affects all aspects of life in rich and poor countries alike, and that decision makers in those countries can improve the way they are affected by enhancing their understanding of climate affairs. In essence, this will build the capacity of developing countries to deal with climate-related issues.
Archive: Societal Impacts of Extreme Climate Events - 1997-98 El Niño

Global Climate Change
ESD aims at providing the scientific bases for evaluating the various future scenarios for climate change and to investigate critical linkages between institutional regimes. This is achieved through international conferences and workshops and publication of policy papers on relevant crosscutting themes.
Go to Global Climate Governance: Inter-linkages between the Kyoto Protocol and other Multilateral Regimes

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