Publications

THE UNEP Global Mercury Partnership was initiated in 2005 to take immediate actions to protect human health and the environment from the release of mercury and its compounds to the environment by minimizing and where feasible, ultimately eliminating global, anthropogenic mercury releases to air, water and land. It is a voluntary multi-stakeholder partnership that operates based on an Overarching Framework (right top document). The eight work areas of the Partnership have business plans setting out objectives, targets and priorities for action.

The Carpathian region, forming an integrative part of the wider Danube region, is a mountainous area of outstanding natural and cultural heritage shared by seven Carpathian countries, the majority of them being members of the European Union. 

Destruction of the rainforest and other tropical forests continue on a dramatic scale in spite of unprecedented global attention to the issue of deforestation and the role of forests in mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. The global figures for deforestation are contested: Two main sources of data, the FAO’s Global Forest Resources Assessment (2010) and a remote sensing study by University of Maryland (2013), use different technologies and definitions of forest and display huge variation between figures (see section 2). We simply don’t know how much rainforest is left on Earth, and how fast it disappears. Both sources agree, however, that tropical forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate. 

The illegal trade and exploitation in flora, such as illegal logging, has been estimated to represent a value of 30–100 billion USD annually. This equals 10–30% of the total global timber trade.  An estimated 50–90% of the wood in some tropical countries is suspected to come from illegal sources or has been logged illegally.  In addition to the illegal trade in harvested wild plants for ornamental and medicinal purposes.

The food price spikes of 2007–08 brought food security into sharp focus on the global agenda. Declines in international commodity markets, financial speculation in low cereal stocks, dramatic weather events, soaring oil prices, and growth in biofuels competing for cropland merged to produce a global crisis. Coupled with the growing impacts of climate change, the question of whether we would have enough food to feed a growing world population in the future vaulted to the top of political agendas.

Given the alarming pace, level of sophistication, and globalized nature that illegal trade in wildlife has now notoriously achieved, UNEP initiated a Rapid Response Assessment to provide some of the latest data, analysis, and broadest insights into the phenomenon. Tackling illegal wildlife trade demands this examination of the relationship between the environmental resources at stake, their legal and illegal exploitation, the loopholes that exacerbate the situation, the scale and types of crimes committed, and the dynamics of the demand driving the trade.

The Arctic is changing twice as fast in terms of warming as the rest of the world. What happens to migratory species in the Arctic will affect what happens in the overwintering grounds of those species, and what happens to the melting glaciers and permafrost thaw will affect sea level rise in the rest of the world.

Short-lived climate pollutants are everywhere in our lives. They are impacting the climate system and the quality of our air. It is time to act against these pollutants and deliver near term and multiple benefits for human well-being.

The Abu Dhabi Blue Carbon Demonstration Project, facilitated by the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) was a one-year project, which commenced in November 2012. Supportive to AGEDI’s mandate and as one of the projects within the Eye on the Earth Oceans and Blue Carbon Special Initiative, the project was designed to deliver data sharing on a local level, support and encourage adaptation on a regional level and contribute to knowledge on the international stage.

Mountains cover 25 percent of the world’s land surface, and directly support 12 percent of the world’s population living within mountain regions. Sustainable mountain development should be a global priority given the multitude of ecosystem goods and services that mountains provide; among the most important is water for half of humanity for drinking, irrigation and energy production. 

Zambia has abundant water resources, vast forests, huge mineral deposits, and large tracts of arable land. These natural resources are important for the country’s economy, with copper and cobalt being the country’s main exports. While mining brings into the country much needed foreign exchange, the extraction of the minerals also results in environmental damage, including land degradation, deforestation, water and air pollution, and solid waste. In addition to mining, other important threats to Zambia’s environment are agriculture, urbanization and climate change.

Rising global demand for metals and developments in technology have recently renewed industry interest in exploring, and exploiting, deposits of deep sea minerals (‘DSM’). The 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea gives coastal states exclusive sovereign rights over the DSM contained within national marine boundaries. For many Pacific islands, this means that over 99% of their national jurisdiction is ocean. Surveys indicating abundant and promising mineral deposits in the Pacific Island region therefore suggest a potential economic opportunity for Pacific islands.

The Africa Environmental Information Network (AfricaEIN) initiative succeeds the old Africa environmental Information Network, which was launched in 2003 and was mandated by the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) to, among other purposes, support the Africa Environment Outlook (AEO) process. The rebranding of the initiative is a response to some of the challenges that the old network has faced. The AfricaEIN will be spearheaded by the AMCEN and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with support from GRID-Arendal. 

In large marine regions, undertaking integrated assessments can be expensive and time consuming, but sound information is critical to understanding the state of the marine environment and achieving or maintaining ocean health. Most importantly, such large scale and integrated assessments must not be overly influenced by information that is limited only to either places or issues that are well studied, since this might result in outcomes that are not balanced or properly represent conditions across the whole of a region. The purpose of the workshop held in Bangkok (17-19 September, 2012), was to build capacity to undertake regional integrated marine assessments. A previous workshop, to support the United Nations World Ocean Assessment, held in Sanya City, China, identified a regional capacity gap in this area. 

Large-scale land investment is not a new phenomenon in Africa, but the speed and scale at which it is occurring today makes it one of the most pressing issues on the continent. These land investments are promoted by advocates as “win-win” solutions - benefiting national economies, rural development and ensuring food security at the same time. Critics on the other hand view large-scale land acquisitions as “land grabbing”, a process that undermines local land rights and that disproportionately affects the socially and economically vulnerable who bear the bulk of the costs while reaping few of the benefits of the transactions.

Toys and many other children’s products can keep children happy for hours. The right toys can stir young imaginations, and often encourage the first vital steps in the learning process. However, children’s products can also be a source of toxic chemicals, especially when their manufacture is not properly regulated and laws are not sufficiently enforced. 

The Zambezi River Basin Atlas of the Changing Environment is a basin collaborative initiative with the objective of providing scientific evidence about changes that are taking place in the natural resources and the environment. The Atlas, with climate change as its running theme, is for use by policy makers and other stakeholders, and the general public, to generate action towards climate resilience through adaptation and mitigation of the impacts of climate change. 

The African elephant, the largest remaining land mammal on the planet, is facing the greatest crisis in decades. Reports of mass elephant killings in the media vividly illustrate the situation across many African elephant range States. This Rapid Response Assessment provides an overview of the current state of the African elephant alongside recommendations for action to ensure its protection.

The illegal trade in wildlife makes up one part of the multi-billion dollar business that is environmental crime and is increasingly being perpetrated at the cost of the poor and vulnerable.

The Mediterranean Action Plan (MAP) was established in 1975 as a coherent legal and institutional framework for cooperation through which all Mediterranean countries decided to jointly address common challenges of environmental degradation while linking sustainable resource management with development. It was soon followed by the Barcelona Convention and seven Protocols addressing issues relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources as well as to many policies and measures aiming to improve its management.

This report speaks directly to governments involved in the development of the global treaty on mercury. It presents updates from the UNEP Global Mercury Assessment 2013 in short and punchy facts and figures backed by compelling graphics, that provide governments and civil society with the rationale and the imperative to act on this notorious pollutant.

The Environmental Atlas of the Dniester Basin  is the first attempt to present the environmental state of the transboundary river in a visual format which includes over 30 thematic maps of the basin, graphics, diagrams and pictures. The target groups for the Atlas are specialists in environmental protection, as well as the authorities and the population in the Dniester basin.

The Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 marked the first time that the special characteristics of SIDS were paid significant attention and were recognised as a distinct group. In 1994, the first Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of SIDS was held in Barbados, under the auspices of the United Nations. It resulted in the adoption of the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA), which recognised the unique and particular vulnerabilities of SIDS and identified the sustainable development challenges SIDS face. The BPOA explicitly identified key areas requiring urgent action.

 

 

On 16 September 1987, the treaty known as the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed into existence by a group of concerned countries that felt compelled to take action to solve an alarming international environmental crisis: the depletion of the Earth’s protective ozone layer. Since that humble beginning 25 years ago, this treaty has taken root, grown and fi nally blossomed into what has been described as “Perhaps the single most successful international environmental agreement to date”. 

Life on earth is fundamentally and inextricably linked to the marine environment. Our oceans and seas regulate global processes such as climate and weather and provide us a vast array of goods and services: food, energy, minerals, medicines, transport and social services for society. The ocean’s “natural capital” is however globally depreciating due to the cumulative effects of human activities and unsustainable management practices. Besides everyday impacts from human use, climate change effects such as sea-level rise, increasing temperatures and ocean acidification all put additional stress on the marine environment.

Environmental crime and the illegal grabbing of natural resources is becoming an ever more sophisticated activity requiring national authorities and law enforcement agencies to develop responses commensurate with the scale and the complexity of the challenge to keep one step ahead.

This report compares the needs of Arctic stakeholders (as articulated in policies and strategies) with the contribution different types of satellite technologies (communications, weather, navigation, earth observation, surveillance, and science) can make to meet current and future requirements.  It will help the European Space Agency (ESA) understand Arctic issues, increase the synergy between ESA activities and Arctic initiatives, and assist ESA in preparing relevant Arctic related programme proposals to meet future requirements.

This publication highlights the concept and selected market segments relating to payments for ecosystem services. It emphasises the role natural capital can play in both environmental conservation and in poverty alleviation, and highlights the potential benefits of ecosystem-based economic development in an accessible, non-technical manner.

The world’s oceans and coasts – the  Blue World – are the cornucopia for humanity. They provide us with food, oxygen and livelihoods.

Healthy natural coastal ecosystems, such as mangrove forests, saltwater marshlands and seagrass meadows provide a vast array of important co-benefits to coastal communities around the world, including throughout the Arabian Peninsula. These benefits include ecosystem services such as a rich cultural heritage; the protection of shorelines from storms; erosion or sea-level rise; food from fisheries; maintenance of water quality; and landscape beauty for recreation and ecotourism. In a “Blue Carbon” context these ecosystems also store and sequester potentially vast amounts of carbon in sediments and biomass.

The world population is steadily increasing, consumption levels are growing, and as a result the global waste heap is getting bigger and bigger. Despite the economic difficulties faced by several countries, global trends for waste are clearly on the rise; and forecasts for 2050 indicate that these are long-term trends.

The first State of the Environment Report of the Caspian Sea (SoE-Report) was prepared by GRID-Arendal and presented at the Third Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP3) in Aktau, Kazakhstan 10-12 August 2011.

Mongolia’s reindeer herders and their taiga homeland are today facing unprecedented challenges from unregulated mining, forest logging, loss of access to natural resources, tourism, and climate change.

Water management and resource efficiency for green growth in East Asia is the focus of Issue 7 of Environment & Poverty Times. Jointly prepared by GRID-Arendal and UNEP’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, examines inspiring examples and stories implemented by businesses, communities, governments and organisations in the region, highlighting such themes as water footprint, the use of water for industrial purposes, water pollution and community based initiatives. This publication was prepared as an outreach activity under the East Asia Climate Partnership, a project funded by the Korean International Cooperation Agency.

Oceans cover almost three-quarters of the planet, yet we are just beginning to discover the extent of the resources, both biotic and abiotic, that lie beneath their surfaces. We are also just beginning to understand the complexity of the interactions that tie oceans to the rest of Earth’s systems. And then there is the coastal biome, where vital ecosystem services are most vulnerable. The coastal biome’s links with both land and ocean extend its reach and vulnerability both far inland and well out to sea.

The Mediterranean Sea is complex in its ecology and its social dimensions. Twenty-one countries border the basin of this heavily used and highly valued sea. The Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean (Barcelona Convention) provides a critical framework for setting standards and targets acceptable to all the Contracting Parties, as well as for sharing necessary information. As Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention, the Mediterranean countries, together with the European Union, are determined to meet the challenges of protecting the marine and coastal environment of the Mediterranean while boosting regional and national plans to achieve sustainable development.

The Caspian Sea region has witnessed important developments in the past decade and many opportunities are still available. The region is a major supplier of hydrocarbons to the world market, and will play a considerable role in the global energy sector in the future, with new offshore fields due to come onstream in 2014. New transport corridors are under consideration. Fishing, once a traditional economic sector, now faces an alarming fall in stocks, resulting in unsatisfactory catches for fishermen and less work for associated activities. But opportunities are arising with the development of other sectors such as agriculture and tourism.

Lake Sevan, located in the central part of the Republic of Armenia, faces environmental challenges, caused by overexploitation of its water resources in the Soviet period for Sevan- Hrazdan hydro-power cascade and irrigation, resulting in the decrease of the lake level by ~20m, and volume - by 26,5 bln cub. m., as well as water pollution from human activities and increase of average water temperature, causing eutrophication, reduction of dissolved oxygen and water transparency from 13 to ~3m. Sevan suffered significant biodiversity loss in all biological components. Only fish resources have decreased by ~50 times, especially affecting the endemic species.

Biofuels Vital Graphics visualizes the opportunities, the need for safeguards, and the options that help ensure sustainability of biofuels to make them a cornerstone for a Green Economy. Stories from around the world have been highlighter to exemplify possible approaches, lessons learned, risks and opportunities Biofuels Vital Graphics is meant as a communications tool. It builds on an earlier report by the International Panel for Sustainable Resource Management of the United Nations Environment Programme, Towards Sustainable Production and Use of Resources: Assessing Biofuels, as well as research produced since.

Women are often in the frontline in respect to the impacts of a changing climate. Globally the world is seeing increasingly frequent droughts and floods which are having economic but also profound social consequences. The women and people of Asia are currently at greatest risk with over 100 million people affected in this region annually.

Through the air, over land and in water, over ten thousand species numbering millions of animals travel around the world in a network of migratory pathways. The very foundation of these migratory species is their connection to places and corridors across the planet. The loss of a single point in their migration can jeopardize the entire population, while their concentrations make them highly vulnerable to overharvesting and poaching.

Nearly 20 years after the Earth Summit, nations are again on the Road to Rio, but in a world very different and very changed from that of 1992. Over the last two years, the concept of a “green economy” has moved into the mainstream of policy discourse. Heads of state and finance ministers increasing speak about the green economy; it is referred to in the text of G20 communiqués and discussed in the context of sustainable development and eradicating poverty (United Nations General Assembly 2010).

Deforestation is responsible for approximately 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and is therefore a major contributor to climate change, but also to the loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services and a direct threat to Asia’s great ape – the orangutan. Between 2005-2010, Indonesia had accelerating forest loss compared to 2000-2005 and is within the highest five countries for percentage of primary forest loss globally.

The prime aim of this report is to identify the environmental stress points in the Amu Darya basin which have, or may have, security repercussions for the states and population.The report then suggests solutions to the challenges identified during the assessment. All in all, the field missions covered more than 3 000 km. Participants included experts from the region and from international organizations. Almost 100 experts were directly involved or consulted during the process.

The publication prepared by Zoi in cooperation with GRID-Arendal and the Environment and Security initiative explores the impacts of climate change on Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine. The three countries of Eastern Europe will not be affected as strongly as many other parts of Eurasia, yet they will see more of severe floods and forest fires, decreasing water reserves in the south, and gradual changes in biodiversity, agriculture and food security.

The purpose of these guidelines is to serve as a reference point for all players involved in the AEO-3 production process. The main aim is to ensure consistency in the quality of contributions to the report; avoid problems in the use of illustrations; and guide the editorial and review processes. The guidelines are relevant to all partners and stakeholders contributing to the AEO-3 reporting process. They should be used through all stages of the process: from data acquisition, drafting, writing editing, peer review through to design and printing of the finished product.

Working for the Environment is prepared by GRID-Arendal for the Department of Environmental Affairs (former Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism) in South Africa. It aims to inform and educate the general public in South Africa on the vital work currently being done by the government to protect the environment and alleviate poverty. This publication covers five ongoing programmes under the umbrella of the government’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP): the Social Responsibility Programme and its Working for the Coast sub-programme, Working for Wetlands, Working for Water, and Working on Fire.

During the past decade, many coastal States have been delineating the limits of their maritime zones. This process is defining the exact extent of the sovereignty or jurisdiction of coastal States over the seas and the oceans. The process paves the way for the application of a legal order, which will facilitate international communication, and will promote the peaceful use of the seas and oceans, the equitable and efficient utilization of their resources, the conservation of marine life, and the study, protection and preservation of the marine environment.

Africa is currently the least urbanised region in the world, but this is changing fast. Of the billion people living on the African continent, about 40 per cent lives in urban areas. The urban population in Africa doubled from 205 million in 1990 to 400 million in 2010, and by 2050, it is expected that this would have tripled to 1.23 billion. Of this urban population, 60 per cent is living in slum conditions. In a time of such urban growth, Africa is likely to experience some of the most severe impacts of climate change, particularly when it comes to water and food security. This places huge pressures on the growing urban populations.

In this publication we have tried to collect data, thoughts and impressions from several years of cooperation between the Environment and Security initiative and the people and authorities of Donetsk. Through this cooperation we wanted to bring solutions, which have worked in other parts of Europe, ranging from the Mining for Closure approach to providing citizens and decision-makers with understandable and timely information.

During the preparation of the first Rwanda State of Environment and Outlook in 2009, it became evident that there is a lack of reliable core datasets and indicators on the environment. As such there is need for improved collaboration between institutions dealing with environmental information management. All institutions working in the natural resources sector will benefit from the creation of an infrastructure for sharing environmental data. An environmental information network that improves data access at all levels of society will in turn support the country’s sustainable development objectives.

Climate change is causing signifcant mass loss of glaciers in high mountains worldwide. Although glacier systems show a great amount of inherent complexity and variation, there are clear overall trends indicating global glacier recession, which is likely to accelerate in coming decades. Large gaps remain in our understanding and ability to model accurately the key processes and cause-effect relationships driving glacier response to climate change. In addition, a lot of data on glacier mass changes are not available to the public due to national interests concerning water supply.

“Vital Climate Change Graphics for Latin America and the Caribbean demonstrates both the urgent need to act and the significant benefits that could be gained by taking early action to adapt and reduce the region’s vulnerability to climate change.

The Arctic region is characterized by some of the largest continuous intact ecosystems on the planet, but is facing increasingly larger threats. These threats include the full range of stressors known from other parts of the world, namely habitat loss and fragmentation from infrastructure and industrial development, chemical pollution, overharvesting, climate change and invasive species infestations.

Uganda’s natural resource base is one of the richest and most diverse in Africa, resulting in the country’s economy relying heavily on goods and services so provided. As part of efforts to ensure effective management of Uganda’s environment and natural resources, several policies and institutions have been put in place. Despite these efforts the country’s natural resources continue to be degraded, and this jeopardises both individual livelihoods and the country’s economic development.

The feasibility study concludes that time is limited in terms of coping with dramatic challenges to livelihoods in the region. A cross-boundary collaborative programme needs to prioritise and focus on adaptation already by 2011–2015. Strengthening and developing national and cross-boundary adaptation strategies to too much and too little water is urgent, particularly with regard to foods, drought and subsequent food security.

Biodiversity and ecosystems deliver crucial services to humankind – from food security to keeping our waters clean, buffering against extreme weather, providing medicines to recreation and adding to the foundation of human culture. Together these services have been estimated to be worth over 21–72 trillion USD every year – comparable to the World Gross National Income of 58 trillion USD in 2008.

Unique Arctic habitats for flora and fauna, including sea ice, tundra, lakes, and peatlands have been disappearing over recent decades, and some characteristic Arctic species have shown a decline. The changes in Arctic Biodiversity have global repercussions and are further creating challenges for people living in the Arctic.

Gorillas, the largest of the great apes, are under renewed threat across the Congo Basin from Nigeria to the Albertine Rift: poaching for bushmeat, loss of habitat due to agricultural expansion, degradation of habitat from logging, mining and charcoal production are amongst these threats, in addition to natural epidemics such as ebola and the new risk of diseases passed from humans to gorillas.

“Sick water? The central role of wastewater management in sustainable development” not only identifies the threats to human and ecological health and the consequences of inaction, but also presents opportunities, where appropriate policy and management responses over the short and longer term can trigger employment, support livelihoods, boost public and ecosystem health and contribute to more intelligent water management.”

Vital Ozone Graphics 2.0 - Climate Link is a Resource Kit for journalists, which provides them with the essential visuals, facts, links and contacts to develop ozone story ideas. Graphics and figures can be downloaded and included in articles.  This electronic publication is intended not only to inform and inspire journalists but also to serve as an interesting reference for those who wish to learn more about the Montreal Protocol and ozone layer depletion. 

The integrated urban environmental assessment reports based on GEO-Cities methodology covering three Armenian cities: Alaverdy, Gumri and Hrazdan have been made in the framework of the Environment and Security Initiative in collaboration between GRID-Arendal and Armenian office of the OSCE.

Climate change presents the human race with profound choices that go beyond the current debate over new technologies, economic, and social costs and even concerns over environmental impacts. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called climate change the “moral imperative and the defning issue of our era.”

“Vital GEO Graphics” is an electronic booklet that is based on the UNEP publication Global Environment Outlook 4 (GEO-4). This is one of many publications produced within the popular Vital Graphics series – an initiative started by GRID-Arendal with the aim to promote communication of scientific findings in accessible easily readable and environmentally friendly format.

If not addressed and resolved, environmental problems – water shortages, land degradation, pollution – can become security threats. In this respect the Mediterranean is one of the world’s most vulnerable areas. Its basic climatic and environmental features, combined with its cultural, geopolitical and economic complexity, have high potential for social and political instability.

3 reports are available as Interactive e-books:
* "Water Storage - A strategy for climate change adaptation in the Himalayas"
* "The Changing Himalayas"
* "Local Responses to Too Much and Too Little Water in the Greater Himalayan Region"

UNEP and UNITAR are pleased to present to you this overview document outlining the situation regarding the world’s last known exporting mercury mine – at Khaidar- kan in southern Kyrgyzstan. For the past two years, sig- nifcant efforts have been taking place at the international level to assist the Government of Kyrgyzstan and national and local stakeholders to consider options regarding the future of the mine and its associated infrastructure.

A new Rapid Response Assessment report released 14 October 2009 at the Diversitas Conference, Cape Town Conference Centre, South Africa. Compiled by experts at GRID-Arendal and UNEP in collaboration with the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the UNESCO International Oceanographic Commissions and other institutions, the report highlights the critical role of the oceans and ocean ecosystems in maintaining our climate and in assisting policy makers to mainstream an oceans agenda into national and international climate change initiatives

Canada is internationally recognized as an economically wealthy and progressive country. Hunger is not an image that many associate with a G8 country that so often ranks at the very highest levels of the United Nations Human Development Index. However, hunger continues to be a regular occurrence for many Canadians, especially those who face poverty, and for those who live in very isolated communities where access and the high cost of living is a daily reality.

Today households and small businesses in developing countries are often dependent on using traditional bioenergy solutions such as cooking on open fire. This not only provides a minimum of life-supporting energy services, but may also represent a high financial cost, a strong negative effect on human health, and added stress on the environment. Traditional solutions often comprise relatively low efficiency and much of the energy input is wasted.

The theme of the 6th issue of Environment and Poverty Times is resource efficiency as a catalyst for a greening of the world economy and its subsequent contribution to poverty alleviation efforts. It points to a few examples of shifts in thinking about economics that may lead to a more sustainable future. It presents practical examples of resource efficiency that contribute to a greening of the economy, highlighting such themes as sustainable energy, waste management, construction and sustainable tourism.

The Uganda Atlas of Our Changing Environment, prepared by the National Environmental Management Authority of Uganda, provides extensive scientific evidence of Uganda’s changing environment. Modelled after Africa: Atlas of our Changing Environment previously published by UNEP, the Uganda Atlas seeks to safeguard the country’s environment and inspire decision makers to action.

The future for reindeer husbandry in the barents region is highly dependent on the availability of grazing land. Extensive oil and gas development will likely lead to loss of vital ranges, in particular coastal summer pastures and calving grounds. Reindeer husbandry and barents 2030 presents new potential scenarios for reindeer husbandry, combining the globio methodology for mapping loss of biodiversity with the extensive oil and gas development pictured in the barlindhaug scenarios.

A rapid response assessment report released by UNEP to mark World Environment Day 2009 indicates that boosting investments in conservation, restoration and management of natural ecosystems will not only become important, but will provide our best and most effective way to slow down climate change and accelerate sustainable development and the achievement of the poverty-related Millennium Development Goals.

A publication of the UN Environment Programme, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Forum on Forests  that serves as an advocacy tool to promote conservation and sustainable management of the world’s forests through a better understanding of the values they provide in support of global ecological stability, economic development and human well-being.

The report highlights some of the main achievements of ECORA over the last 5 years. The project results represent the efforts of many people and organizations across Russia and the other Arctic nations.

The Environment's Role in Averting Future Food Crises
A new rapid response assessment report released by UNEP warns that up to 25% of the world’s food production may become lost due to environmental breakdown by 2050 unless action is taken.

This book presents the substance of the Climate Change 2007 Synthesis Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in simplified language and structure.

Environmental management in Uganda was first accorded the attention it deserves with the creation of the Ministry of Environment Protection in 1986. Following this, Uganda realized the need to put in place systems and structures to ensure the management of environmental information.

These case studies convey frank and personal testimony activities. Several of these case studies relate examples where surrounding the challenges, rewards and occasional influencing those “upstream” and “downstream” impacts is frustrations involved in pushing the boundaries on climate regarded as even more important than the direct emissions change. of an entity’s core activities.

The case of the Eastern Caspian Region
This report examines the role and impact of environmental factors in securing human safety and sustained development of the eastern Caspian Sea region, including the parts of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan opening onto the Caspian Sea.  

An Overview of the State of the World’s Fresh and Marine Waters
The report presents an overview, through a set of graphics, maps and other illustrations, of the current state of the world’s fresh, coastal and marine waters. It illustrates the causes and effects of trends that threaten our water resources, with examples of areas of major concern and future scenarios for the use and management of fresh, coastal and marine waters.

A new UNEP publication, written and produced by GRID-Arendal for World Environment Day 2008, shows how various levels of society can work towards climate neutrality. Written and reviewed by experts from many disciplines and various countries, the book is aimed at a broad audience.

The UNESCO World Heritage Centre, jointly with the Nordic World Heritage Foundation (NWHF) and with the generous support by the Prince Albert II Foundation of Monaco organized the first meeting ever on World Heritage and the Arctic.

The paper features a collection of short articles, maps, graphics and other illustrations that focuses on the complex links between environment and poverty reduction. It describes how natural resources can contribute to economic growth that also benefits the poor.

Merging of Climate Change With Pollution, Over-Harvest, and Infestations in the World's Fishing Grounds
A rapid response report  that maps the multiple and combined impacts of pollution; alien infestations; over-exploitation and climate change on the seas and oceans.

State of Emergency: Illegal Logging, Fire and Palm Oil in Indonesia's National Parks
The survival of orangutans and other rain forest wildlife in Indonesia is seriously endangered by illegal logging, forest fires including those associated with the rapid spread of oil palm plantations, illegal hunting and trade.

We often associate the Caspian Sea with caviar that is legally or illegally finding its way to our tables, but overlook the footprints left by a number of industries installed on shores of the Caspian that are serving the world wealthiest market demands.

The “Global Outlook for Ice & Snow” is a special and unique UNEP report launched to mark World Environment Day on 5 June 2007. Snow and ice, with their large areas but relatively small volumes, are inextricably connected to key interactions and responses in the global ecosystem, including solar reflectivity and ocean circulation.

"Vital Ozone Graphics – resource kit for journalists" is a joint publication of UNEP DTIE OzonAction and GRID-Arendal. It features 30+ new graphics explaining physical, technical, economic and political aspects of the disconcerting process of ozone destruction in the atmosphere and the human action that has been taken to stop the process.

Environmental protection is one of the areas where the Balkan countries still face a big challenge to catch up with their western neighbours. After the 1990s conflicts and the breakup of Yugoslavia, six new Balkan states emerged. 

Vital Climate Graphics Latin America and the Caribbean is a collection of graphics that highlight greenhouse gas emission trends, observational evidence, and projected impacts of warming and adverse weather events in the region.

The publication of this second edition was prompted by the popularity of the first edition and the obvious need for providing updated information to our readers. The contents of this publication are accessible on this web site where all the graphics are reproduced in data formats that could be downloaded for further use.

The fate of the Arctic environment deserves global consideration. The Arctic is the world’s last continuous, undeveloped and unexploited coastal and marine region. It is an area highly unique in terms of its landscape, its peoples and ecosystems; as well as its vulnerability to climate change.

Marine pollution, climate change and the resilience of coastal ecosystems
The ability of coral reefs to survive in a globally-warming world may crucially depend on the levels of pollution to which they are exposed, new findings indicate. 

The second edition of Vital Waste Graphics looks at the lifecycle of products and provides a wealth of data, text and graphics that shed a light on types of waste that are usually hidden to the consumers.

This Atlas illustrates through texts and beautifully rendered maps, graphics and diagrams a holistic and well-researched analysis of today’s global issues and their impact on human population and the environment.  
Written by an international team of specialists, this Atlas illustrates through text and beautifully rendered maps, graphics and diagrams...

Mining for Closure – Policies and guidelines for sustainable mining practice and closure of mines aims to present a basis for action within South Eastern Europe (SEE) and within the Tisza River Basin (TRB) towards the development of corporate practice, regulatory frameworks, governance guidelines and/or financial and insurance markets suitable for the support of a modern mining industry.

A new edition of the Environment and Poverty Times was launched at the World Summit 2005 in New York.  The paper focuses on the vital role of environment in poverty reduction.  It tries to raise critical and constructive voices that point at pitfallls, but also propose solutions.

Recent political developments in Kyrgyztan and Uzbekistan have once again drawn the world s attention to the Ferghana valley. Being the most fertile, densely populated region in the whole of Central Asia, the valley is home for 10 million people living well below US$ 500 a year per capita gross national income, so that 60% of the population is defined as poor.

Special Edition for the World Conference on Disaster Reduction January 18-22, 2005, Kobe, Japan. This edition features a collection of articles covering a wide range of disaster-related issues ranging from prevention early warning and preparedness to relief and reconstruction.

Emerging threats to the water resources and biodiversity at the roof of the world to Asia’s lowland from land-use changes associated with large-scale settlement and piecemeal development.

The publication "Vital Waste Graphics" was initiated by the Basel Convention Secretariat and produced in partnership with the Division of Environmental Conventions (DEC) of UNEP, Grid-Arendal and the Division of Early Warning Assessment-Europe of UNEP. It is being published for the seventh meeting of the Conference to the Parties of the Basel Convention (COP7).

The links between the environment and poverty are complex and often invite misunderstanding. Catchy titles such as "Poverty is pollution" and "Healthy environment, prosperous people" are misleading: they generalize the intricate interrelationships between poverty and resource mismanagement.

The Polar Environment Times No 3 was launched at the Arctic Marine Strategic Plan workshop in Reykjavik, Iceland. The Polar Environment Times features articles from several of the ministers that went to Svalbard in August, views on Antarctica and a story on NATO bombing Saami ranges in northern Norway.

The Arctic has always gripped our imagination. The early explorers who came back from their journeys told the world about a barren land with ice, snow and darkness where they had to fight to survive.

The links between the environment and poverty are complex and often invite misunderstanding. Catchy titles such as "Poverty is pollution" and "Healthy environment, prosperous people" are misleading: they generalize the intricate interrelationships between poverty and resource mismanagement.

The latest report (Third Assessment Report) of the UNEP/WMO Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes a warming of approximately 0.7°C over most of the African continent during the 20th century based on historical records. While the exact nature of the changes in temperature or precipitation, and extreme events are not known, there is general agreement that extreme events will get worse, and trends in most variables will change in response to warming.

Vital Climate Graphics are based on the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization. The IPCC's 1995 Second Assessment Report is widely respected as the most authoritative source of climate change information available.

GRID-Arendal's Cookbook for State of the Environment Reporting on the Internet is a 32-page booklet which provides easy-to-use methodological guidance for the development of electronic environmental status reports. Published on the internet and CD-ROM in 1998.