The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is working on the process to develop the sixth Global Environment Outlook Report (GE0-6) to be released in 2018. GEO-6 is an integrated environmental assessment that informs environmental decision-making and aims to keep governments and stakeholders informed of the state of the global environment.
This can be achieved through developing regional reports as an input to the global report. Therefore, and to start the process of developing the regional report for the Arab region, UNEP organized a Regional Environment Information Network (REIN) conference under the patronage of H.E Dr. Taher Al Shaksheir, Minster of Environment, in Amman, Jordan on 10-14 May 2015.
This meeting aims to review the current assessment landscape in the Arab region, prepare the region to identify its own environmental assessment priorities, and provide a mechanism through which such priorities will inform upcoming global assessments.
Since providing the regional reports is a transparent process based on experience and best practices runs alongside GEO6 to identify and analyze emerging issues, UNEP invited more than sixty five experts from a range of environmental disciplines from across the West Asia region to participate in this conference. These experts were representatives of governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature – Regional Office for West Asia (IUCN ROWA). Thirty of them were selected to be the authors of this regional assessment report.
Enhancing environmental information networking and data gathering were discussed in the conference as well as means to resolve obstacles surrounding access to reliable information.
Meanwhile, Authors met for two days to select relevant priorities and devise work plan. On top of priorities considered as representing pressing environmental challenges in the Arab region the group selected: Peace, security and the environment, access to food and water, sustainable use of natural resources and resource efficiency, integrated waste management, environmental health, marine and integrated coastal zone management, energy mix, climate change, environmental governance.