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New Software, maESTro, Launched by UNEP IETC at the Fifth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development

April 1997 - The UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) launched a Searchable Information Directory on Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs) during the Fifth Session of the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD), held from 7 to 25 April 1997 in New York. Information and data of this directory will be collected and disseminated through a newly developed PC software tool called "maESTro". Through its Directory Interchange Format (DIF), maESTro is fully compatible with UNEP's Global Resources Information Database (GRID), NASA, CEOS, NASDA and others.

The IETC Searchable Technology Directory currently includes:

(a) EST information systems (of which a printed version, "UNEP Survey of Information Systems Related to Environmentally Sound Technologies", was also presented to the CSD); (b) A compilation of currently about 130 institutions worldwide dealing with ESTs; and (c) An overview on "hard", "soft" and indigenous eco-friendly technologies in IETC's field of activity.

All three avenues of the Directory will be continuously amended and updated. For this purpose, technology owners and other interested institutions are invited to add their EST information to the Directory. Assisted by maESTro, each institution can also manage their internal information collection and exchange. All entries made will be accessible throughout a global network of EST information suppliers and users, and also linked to UNEP IETC's homepage for internet browsers. For those without access to the worldwide web, in the future maESTro will feature an automatic report function to also disseminate hard copies of its contents.

UNEP Information Note 1997/15



Please address your queries and requests regarding maESTro to:

maESTro, UNEP IETC Osaka Office, 2-110 Ryokuchi-koen,
Tsurumi-ku, Osaka 538, Japan; or maESTro, UNEP IETC
Shiga Office, 1091 Oroshimo-cho, Kusatsu City, Shiga 525,
Japan; or Email:

About IETC
- IETC is a new institution created at the request of the UNEP Governing Council. Its offices at two locations in Japan - Osaka and Shiga - officially opened in April 1994. The Centre's main function is to promote cooperation in facilitating the transfer of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) to developing countries and countries with economies in transition. IETC pays specific attention to urban problems such as sewage, air pollution, solid waste, noise, and to the management of freshwater lake and reservoir basins.

IETC is supported in its operations by two Japanese foundations - the Global Environment Centre Foundation (GEC), which is based in Osaka and deals with urban environmental problems; and the International Lake Environment Committee (ILEC) which is located in Shiga and contributes accumulated knowledge on the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

The Centre's mandate is based on Agenda 21, which came out of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). Consequently, IETC pursues a results- oriented work plan revolving around three issues, namely: (1) Improving access to information on ESTs; (2) Fostering technology cooperation, partnerships and transfer; and (3) Building ogenous capacity.

The Centre's activities are closely coordinated with substantive organizations within the UN system. For example, within the framework of the joint UNCHS (Habitat)/UNEP Sustainable Cities Programme, IETC is promoting the preparation of Local Agenda 21 documents for selected cities. This is complemented by Action Plans focussed on the sustainable management of selected lake/reservoir basins. Under the auspices of the joint IETC/IE Environmental Technology Assessment (EnTA) Programme, the Centre has undertaken a range of activities including training needs assessment surveys in the field of decision-making on technology transfer and management of ESTs; design and implementation of pilot training programmes for adaptation and operation of ESTs; training materials for technology management of large cities and lake/reservoirs and others. Through the achievement of these results IETC has rapidly established itself as a Centre of Excellence in the field of EST transfer. In order to build on these achievements, IETC has jointly established the UNEP EST Information Network Programme and is developing stronger partnerships with international and bilateral finance institutions, technical assistance organizations, the private, academic and non-government sectors. IETC also publishes a quarterly newsletter; a technical publication series and other media materials creating public awareness and disseminating information on ESTs.

For more information: John Whitelaw, Director, Osaka
Office, 2-11 Ryokuchi Koen
Tsurumi-ku, Osaka 538, JAPAN, Tel: 81-6-915-4580/81,
Fax: 81-6-915-0304.

Monday 28 Apr 1997
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