New global initiative to connect environmental information networks

NEW YORK (RPRN) 5/12/2009–The Abu Dhabi Environment Agency (EAD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) welcomed over fifty environmental information and data experts from around the world at the first Global Environmental Information Networking (EIN) Meeting which was held in Abu Dhabi from 27 to 29 April 2009.

The 3-day meeting consisted of formal presentations on networking and environmental data initiatives complemented by working group discussions on strategic issues such as network governance, capacity building, technology support, data sharing and applications.

The meeting exposed participants to a wide range of experiences from a national, sub-regional, regional and global perspective. Participants discussed and shared experience regarding both their challenges and best practices during the meeting, highlighting key requirements for bridging environmental data and information gaps at a global level.

Dr Jaber Eidha Al Jaberi, EAD Director Environment Policy, emphasized the importance of this meeting to the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and its ongoing and upcoming national, regional and international projects. Dr Al Jaberi urged the meeting participants to continue building upon this experience and increase alliances in order to minimize the environmental data gap through the exchange of best practice based on documented success stories.

Welcoming the outcome of the Abu Dhabi meeting, UNEP Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General Achim Steiner said: ‘This global environmental information network provides a solid institutional framework for good environmental governance at all levels. Indeed, strengthening multilateral institutional cooperation is a key part of supporting the decision-making processes needed to address environmental challenges.’

Mr Steiner expressed his gratitude to the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi for providing financial support and hosting the meeting. The Agency has been a key partner for UNEP in the area of environmental information networking and data exchange since the joint launch of the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Information Initiative (AGEDI) at the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002.

The meeting report and presentations are available at www.agedi.ae. Environmental institutions, information specialists and other interested stakeholders are encouraged to join the global environmental information networking initiative and assist with charting the roadmap for its future activities.

Source: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)