Vital Climate Graphics was first published in 2000 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and GRID-Arendal. Based on the findings of the Second Assessment Report (SAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it presented a collection of graphics focussing on the environmental and socio-economic impacts of climate change.

This second edition, launched in February 2005, is based on the Third Assessment Report (TAR) of the IPCC that was published in 2001. 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.

Etablished in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the IPCC is the world’s most authoritative scientific and technical source of climate change information. Its assessments provided an essential basis for the negotiation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and of the Kyoto Protocol. With these agreements now in effect, it is vital that the IPCC’s findings are communicated more effectively to a wide range of decision-makers. The IPCC’s work also needs to be made more readily accessible to the general public.

For years, UNEP has been involved in disseminating information for decision-making and promoting awareness of climate change. In cooperation with the Convention Secretariat, UNEP is actively promoting the implementation of Article 6 of the Convention, which addresses public awareness, education and training. GRID-Arendal plays a major role in assisting UNEP in carrying out these tasks.

I take this opportunity to thank the following members of the GRID-Arendal staff who helped prepare this report: Elaine Baker, Rob Barnes, Emmanuelle Bournay, Lars Haltbrekken, Cato Litangen, Jarle Mjaasund, Philippe Rekacewicz, Petter Sevaldsen and Janet Fernandez Skaalvik.

I also thank Dr. Renate Christ, Secretary of the IPCC, Svein Tveitdal, Director of UNEP’s Division for Environmental Conventions (DEC) and Division for Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI), and Arkady Levintanus, Head of the Atmosphere and Desertifi cation Conventions Unit of UNEP’s DEC, and Michael Williams, Head of UNEP’s information Unit for Conventions for their valuable inputs on this report.

I acknowledge with gratitutde the financial support provided by UNEP’s Division for Environmental Conventions in the preparation of this report.

Steinar Sørensen, Managing Director

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