To strengthen our support to UNEP, GRID-Arendal was designated an official UNEP Centre by Dr. Klaus Töpfer, Executive Director of UNEP, during his visit to Oslo in December. Under this agreement GRID-Arendal becomes UNEP's Key Centre for Information for Decision-making.
GRID-Arendal won 1st Prize at the International Map Exhibition in Beijing for the satellite map of the Lena Delta, which was prepared in co-operation with the Norwegian Mapping Authority. GRID-Arendal also won 3rd Prize for "Climate Change GIS" at the global ESRI/National Geographic Society contest on GIS applications.
GRID-Arendal produced maps and graphics and created the layout for the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Climate Change 2001 Synthesis Report and the Global Methodology for Mapping Human Impacts on the Biosphere (GLOBIO) report,
UNEP.Net was launched at the UNEP's 21st Governing Council 2001, It is a decentralized and distributed system that allows Internet-based applications to query and generate reports from remote environmental databases and servers. The UNEP.Net portal adds value to UNEP's existing network of environmental web sites and complements them in informing world citizens about how their actions impact the environment, and what practices should be emulated. It also provides a snapshot of current and anticipated environmental challenges.
2001 was the last year of our successful five-year satellite communications project, UNEPnet/Mercure. Through easier access to the Internet, email, satellite phone lines and video-conferencing, the project intended to bridge the digital divide that exists between the developing world and the developed world. More than 5000 people depended on UNEPnet/Mercure for day-to-day dissemination of environmental information amongst partner locations. The project was closed because new and more easily accessible.