Press releases

Friday 24 Oct 2003

New interactive world map on the web

Have you ever wondered what the average life expectancy in the world is? Or would you like to know how many mobile phone subscribers there are? With this new interactive world atlas Globalis,produced by GRID-Arendal and the Norwegian UN Association, you choose what is displayed on the map.

Arendal/Oslo, 24 October, 2003 – Each year, the UN and other international organisations collect large amounts of data from all the countries of the world. Globalis presents some of this information in a simple and visual way. With a few mouse clicks, you can produce colourful maps that show the state of the world on various topics.

Globalis is a tool which highlights the similarities and differences between the countries of this world, and has been developed by the the United Nations Association of Norway in cooperation with GRID-Arendal, the UNU/Global Virtual University and the University College of Hedmark. Globalis uses the UN Millenium Goals as a starting point, and will follow the development towards the year 2015, when, according to plan, these goals of human development and poverty reduction should have been reached. The tool also includes data from different years, allowing you to see for instance how humans have influenced the environment over time.

Globalis is freely available at  http://globalis.gvu.unu.edu

State of the World
· There are no countries in the world with more women than men in governing bodies. Sweden is at the top of this league, with 45 percent women in their parliament. Norway has 36 percent women MPs, while in the USA only 14 percent of the Members of Congress are women.
· 72 percent of Finland is covered by forest. In France, this number is 27.9 percent, while Iraq’s forests only cover 2 percent. Half the world’s population use wood as their main source of energy for cooking and heating.
· Life expectancy at birth for a Briton is 77.9 years. In Russia the average life span is 57 years, while in Sierra Leone you can expect to live untill you are 35 years old.
· In Germany, 8 percent of youth aged 15 to 24 years, who are available for work, are unemployed. In South Africa, 56 percent of youth of the same age are unemployed.
· In China, 84 percent of women living in a stable relationship use contraception. In Iran, 73 percent of women use some sort of contraception, while similar figures for Afghanistan only amount to 5 percent.
· In South Korea, more than half the population use the internet regularly. In Nigeria, one in a thousand do the same.
· In Sweden, the whole population has access to safe, high quality drinking water. In Ethiopia, only 24 percent have the same.
· The Norwegian energy consumption is 40 times larger per capita than energy consumption per capita in Bangladesh.
· If the rest of the world had the same level of consumption as the Australians, we would need another three planets.

Links:
Globalis: http://globalis.gvu.unu.edu/
The UN Association of Norway: www.fn.no
The UN Millennium Goals: www.un.org/millenniumgoals
GRID-Arendal: www.grida.no
The UNU/Global Virtual University: www.gvu.unu.edu

The Globalis maps may be downloaded freely in formats suitable for printing. Remember to use the following reference: globalis.gvu.unu.edu

For more information please contact:
Aake Bjoerke, GRID-Arendal – phone: +47 37035711, aake.bjoerke@grida.no or Bjørn Sandvik, UN Association of Norway – phone: +47 22 86 84 06
e-mail: bjorn.sandvik@fn-sambandet.no

Friday 24 Oct 2003
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