United Nations System-Wide
Earthwatch Working Party 5
Geneva, 3-4 May 1999

5 May 1999

Report by the secretariat on progress in Earthwatch

Task Manager functions for Chapter 40

Indicators of environment and sustainable development

Review of the UNEP Environmental Observing and Assessment Strategy

Review of international scientific advisory processes

UN system preparations for input to the Global Environment Outlook 3 process

Relevant decisions of other bodies

Electronic information networking between Earthwatch partners

Integrated Global Observing Strategy and Global Observing Systems

Future strategy and work programme for Earthwatch coordination

Other matters

Annex 1 - Agenda

Annex 2 - List of Participants

1. The fifth meeting of the Earthwatch Working Party was opened by the Coordinator, UN System-wide Earthwatch, UNEP, who welcomed the participants and outline the purpose of the Working Party. The agenda was approved as proposed (Annex 1), and Mr. Jeff Tschirley of FAO was designated to chair the meeting. The list of participants is given in Annex 2. The working documents for the meeting are posted on the documents page of the Earthwatch World Wide Web site (http://www.unep.ch/earthw/Documen.htm).

Report by the secretariat on progress in Earthwatch

2. The secretariat presented a report on the implementation of the UN system-wide Earthwatch in the five year period since the establishment of the Working Party in 1994 (UNEP/EWWP5/2). The report responded to a request of the last working party that the progress report should be organized by the terms of reference originally agreed by the Working Party to show how they have been implemented. Significant advances had been made in many areas despite the limited and declining resources available, but for some terms of reference it had not been possible to make much progress. It was noted that the emphasis had been on coordination rather than operational activities. In response to a question about follow-up to Working Party meetings, examples were cited where consultation in the meetings had led to significant advances in coordination and collaboration. Some areas for potential further collaboration were also discussed, including on capacity building. One participant highlighted the need to link Earthwatch information better with the sustainable development planning process at the national level. The Working Party appreciated the considerable progress made, but observed that the terms of reference were ambitious, and some were not being met through a lack of resources. It was recommended that the Earthwatch Working Party revisit the terms of reference at its next meeting in the light of the resources available to implement them. A tabulation by the secretariat for the next meeting of the decision taken by the working party and their implementation would also be helpful.

3. The secretariat had also distributed the draft Earthwatch Strategic Framework for Environmental Observing, Assessment and Reporting (UNEP/EWWP5/Inf.2), which discussed general principles and concepts relevant to Earthwatch, based in part on earlier Earthwatch activities. Some participants found this particularly useful, and recommended that it be built on in designing future Earthwatch activities. A draft Directory of Partners in the system-wide Earthwatch derived from the listing for each organization on the Earthwatch web site was also available for review and correction (UNEP/EWWP5/Inf.3). It was suggested that the secretariat might explore more user-friendly formats for the useful information in this compilation.

Task Manager functions for Chapter 40

4. The representatives of the UN Division for Sustainable Development and UNEP Earthwatch, as joint Task Managers, presented proposals for the review of the implementation of Chapter 40 of Agenda 21: Information for Decision-making, and the preparation of the Secretary-General's report to the ninth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development in 2001 (UNEP/EWWP5/3). There was considerable discussion of the proposals for action in the paper. While there was some concern about the cost implications of some recommendations, the Working Party generally supported the proposals, with specific comments as indicated below.

5. A meeting of an intergovernmental group of experts on information for decision-making, to be organized by the Task Managers early in 2000 as a basis for the Secretary-General's report on Chapter 40, would help to build governmental support for issues of information access and decision-support that had largely been discussed at the international level. It should build on existing experience, such as that of OECD and ECE on environmental performance reviews. It would be most effective if one or more governments would accept to host and sponsor such a meeting as part of the intersessional preparations for CSD-9, and this possibility should be pursued. The meeting should include both information producers and users, as well as experts in communications, the media and public information.

6. A contribution on data and information dimensions of the sectoral and economic themes of CSD-9 (Atmosphere/Energy and Energy/Transport), commissioned from selected experts, should take into account the extensive work already being done on these issues, and be coordinated by the ad hoc Interagency Working Group on Energy.

7. The compendium of UN system contributions on information for decision-making maintained by Earthwatch should be updated, extended and converted to a form easily used by governments for reference to what the system is doing, including work at the international level to support national information initiatives. This could provide a basis for a review of the effectiveness of the observing, assessment and reporting system itself.

8. A demonstration of integrated information and decision-support tools for environment and sustainable development should be organized at CSD-9, including computerized and web-based systems. These should give the CSD participants an exposure to the exciting new possibilities available, with an emphasis on information for decision-makers rather than scientists. Possible sources of materials include existing initiatives such as the prototype information centre in Delaware for the Global Observing Systems, the GOOS products bulletin, the GTOS TEMS database, the UNU information system on environmental pollutants for East Asian countries, UNEP GRID and INFOTERRA, UNDP's Sustainable Development Networking Programme and SIDSnet, the clearing-house mechanism under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the DSD Sustainable Development web site, the Earthwatch web site, and the display being developed for UNISPACE III. The demonstrations should show the advantages of integrated information, and should provide information products of immediate use to decision-makers. They should not lose sight of the human side of information management by giving the impression that there is a technological quick fix, but should communicate the need to support the whole information system that makes such tools possible. It would be desirable if the secretariat could arrange a demonstration of some of these tools at the next Earthwatch Working Party meeting as a preparation for the CSD event. The G3OS Sponsors Group and IGOS Partnership meetings in June should be challenged to start preparing such demonstrations now.

9. The major findings of the separate reports to CSD-9 on the Work Programme on Indicators of Sustainable Development, the outcome of the process on Government's role in managerial accounting and the global reporting initiative would provide additional material for the Secretary-General's report on Chapter 40 to CSD-9.

10. On national presentations to the Ad Hoc Inter-sessional Working Groups and to CSD-9, partners that are working with governments involved in exemplary uses of information for decision-making should encourage them to make presentations on their experience to the CSD or to prepare case studies for compilation by the Task Managers. These could highlight the use of sustainable development indicators and electronic tools such as GIS.

11. The preparatory process should also draw on initiatives taken and activities organized by national governments and major NGOs. This could include the many local Agenda 21 initiatives using indicators.

12. The effort for CSD-9 should communicate the need for governments to support systematic long-term observations and assessment processes as the basis for sound decision-making. Positive experiences of governments in using information should be drawn together for the CSD. The progress made between the Global Observing Systems and the Conference of the Parties of the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) in reviewing the adequacy of the observing system showed how an awareness of information system needs could lead to constructive initiatives. Countries have been requested to prepare national plans for observations, and to provide separate reports on their observing systems in 2001. This kind of initiative was necessary to reverse the trend highlighted by several participants of a consistent decline in the quality of statistical data from countries, due to lack of investment in improving or even maintaining data sets.

Indicators of environment and sustainable development

13. The draft report of the Fifth Expert Group Meeting on Indicators of Sustainable Development (New York, 7-8 April 1999) was distributed as a basis for discussion on indicators. The expert meeting had proposed a more policy-relevant approach grouping the indicators around clusters and themes, and reviewed the present state of work on the challenging task of linking and aggregating indicators. A problem faced by many countries was the gap in availability of data and information to calculate the indicators. There will be a final meeting of the countries testing the CSD indicator set late in 1999, to provide input into the process of revising the indicators in preparation for the report to CSD-9. Some problems of coordination between different indicator initiatives were noted by the Working Party, such as between the Common Country Assessment Indicators of the UN Development Assistance Framework and the CSD indicators.

14. In the discussion, it was noted that the links between indicators and user groups were often poorly defined, whether they be at the international level, in reporting to the conventions, or at the national level. A variety of efforts are under way to standardize indicators for specific purposes. The approaches to indicators need flexibility and adaptability to different country situations, while harmonizing a common core set as far as possible. There were still significant conceptual issues to solve in defining indicators and in applying them to measure sustainability, and all those concerned should work to address them. The significant gap in indicators for the marine and coastal environment was raised, as well as the need for better coordination to fill that gap. The Working Party proposed that this issue be dealt with by the ACC Subcommittee on Oceans and Coastal Areas as the relevant Task Manager.

Review of the UNEP Environmental Observing and Assessment Strategy

15. UNEP presented the latest working draft of its new Environmental Observing and Assessment Strategy (UNEP/EWWP5/4) which was also made available on the Earthwatch web site (http://www.unep.ch/earthw/unepstr2.htm). The Earthwatch partners provided their comments on the strategy and considered how their own activities should interface with the strategy and contribute to its implementation. Issues to be addressed in system-wide collaboration included: the common ground shared by agencies in implementation of the early warning function where cooperation would be desirable; the need to address the institutional constraints in observation and assessment of many critical parameters of the environment; the paradoxical problem of significant data gaps in some areas and of abundant data but lack of meaningful analysis of those data in other areas; and the poor understanding of the driving forces leading to the present state of the environment. It was felt that the strategy was extremely ambitious, and it was not always easy to see how UNEP planned to focus its efforts. It might help to show priorities in the short, medium and long terms to give some strategic order to the activities proposed.

16. Participants were supportive of UNEP's strategic initiative and referred to their own efforts to develop strategic planning and to define the specific roles of each agency in the international arena. Data inventories were being undertaken in specific sectoral areas, national data centres were being established, and efforts made to harmonize different systems of classification. Many countries, including in the developing world, did have valuable environmental data in files and old reports, but a process of "data archaeology" was necessary to retrieve, compile and make these data available in useful forms in order to give countries access to their own environmental databases. With reference to the need for expanded public access to information (paragraph 23d of the strategy), the strategy should clarify how this would be achieved, since public information was different is scope and type from that needed by scientists and government specialists for decision-making. It was also important to clarify (paragraph 27) that capacity building efforts were aimed at developing countries and those with economies in transition. On the plan for a report on the state of the global observing and assessment system itself, which was supported, there was some discussion as to whether this should be incorporated into the GEO report or be a separate but supporting document.

17. There was general satisfaction that UNEP was consulting with its partners on the strategy, and a desire to cooperate with UNEP in its development and implementation. The UN University was already involved in the GEO process as joint head of the Policy Working Group; worked closely with UNEP on environment, water and health; and wanted to collaborate on training and capacity-building. Its role as the main UN link with the scientific community should be exploited. WHO noted the important module on water quality, but asked if there were plans to similarly target air quality, particularly in urban areas where there were important links with health problems. The interactions between pollution, chemical safety, waste management and health were of concern to a number of partners. FAO was quite advanced in developing a strategic framework that extended through the year 2015.  It included emphasis on food insecurity and rural poverty, policy and regulatory frameworks, sustainable use of natural resources, and improving data and information use (especially at the global level).  Each of these FAO priority areas had some link to and were mentioned in the UNEP strategy. UNESCO was already cooperating in several areas and hoped this would expand. IOC particularly mentioned its interest in collaborating on the information system and with the Regional Seas Programmes. It welcomed the emphasis in the strategy on the Global Observing Systems, but noted that the infrastructure of these systems was still not assured with a solid continuing base of funding. UNITAR wanted to contribute to regional capacity building under the strategy. Several partners asked for time to consult more widely within their organizations on the specifics of their cooperation. UNEP requested that additional specific comments be sent to the Earthwatch Coordinator by 25 May so that they could be incorporated in the revision of the strategy before its adoption. It was suggested that UNEP share comments received from the UN system on the strategy with all the Earthwatch partners.

Review of international scientific advisory processes

18. The working party considered further work needed to follow up on the document "Report on International Scientific Advisory Processes on the Environment and Sustainable Development" prepared by UNEP in 1998 in support of the review of Chapter 35 at CSD-6 (UNEP/DEIA/TR.98-1, and a revised version available on the web at http://www.unep.ch/earthw/sciadv.htm). The last Earthwatch Working Party recommended that the report be completed and extended. Comments should be obtained from within the organizations concerned and more perspectives provided on the linkages. The meeting considered that completing and extending the report would still be desirable when the resources become available. The meeting noted that the report had already led to improved coordination and collaboration. UNESCO advised that they had undertaken further work in this area as recommended at the last Working Party, and would report back on this to the secretariat.

UN system preparations for input to the Global Environment Outlook 3 process

19. UNEP advised that the second biennial Global Environment Outlook report would be published shortly. A draft had been circulated to all Earthwatch partners for comment in 1998, and various useful contributions had been received, as described in a short paper on Earthwatch inputs to the GEO process (UNEP/EWWP5/Inf.4). The next GEO report will be timed to provide input to the 10 year review of Agenda 21 in 2002, and will consider the longer term perspective of 30 years after Stockholm, with implications for the future. The participants discussed the procedures for their involvement in the GEO preparatory process. In particular, they suggested a meeting of interested agencies and the GEO team early in the conceptual planning for GEO-3 so that they could discuss their contributions and "buy in" to the GEO process. Further thought should also be given to the procedures for review of the draft by partner organizations. It was unrealistic to circulate a 400 page draft for detailed comments from within a large organization, and the regional approach taken by GEO meant that discussion of particular topics of concern to an agency were scattered throughout the report. The possibility of extracting the relevant passages for review by each partner, or of providing an electronic version that can be searched for relevant topics, should be explored.

20. Since the GEO report would be increasingly relying on indicators, these should be coordinated as far as possible with other indicator processes in the UN system, including that of the CSD. The report should also include some discussion of goals and targets, in collaboration with relevant UN system partners, since indicators become meaningful relevant to a desirable environmental or social state, and there were a variety of standards that needed to be harmonized. This can be seen, for example, in the standards accepted in international trade and their discussion in the World Trade Organization. The UN system can assist in establishing the scientific basis for environmental goals and standards in such areas of great policy relevance.

Relevant decisions of other bodies

21. Several decisions from the 20th UNEP Governing Council (Nairobi, 1-5 February 1999) with interagency dimensions relevant to the UN system-wide Earthwatch, and from the Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development, as compiled in working paper 5 (UNEP/EWWP5/5), were reviewed. The IACSD in particular had taken action on some issues referred to it by the last Earthwatch Working Party, including improved coordination in the UN system on waste issues, and a decision not to proceed further with "Development Watch". Recent efforts at improved coordination of development indicators, such as the Common Country Assessment Indicators within the UN Development Assistance Framework, could be seen as meeting the requirements for a development watch as proposed in Agenda 21. This new development monitoring effort should be more effectively coordinated with Earthwatch to ensure the full integration of environment and development concerns as requested in Agenda 21 (40.13).

22. In one decision, the UNEP Governing Council had urged major actors in data compilation and in global report production to collaborate in the production and use of a common data and knowledge base, comprising indicators, models, scenarios and expert systems, in order to avoid duplication, save costs and ensure that global reports are mutually supportive (GC 20/1). The Working Party considered how this request could be implemented. A number of initiatives to consolidate data holdings and access in certain topical areas were mentioned, including the Food Insecurity Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) of FAO and agency partners, the UN Atlas of the Oceans initiative of the ACC Subcommittee on Oceans and Coastal Areas led by FAO, a new Division of Evidence for Policy to pull together information sources within WHO, the World Bank metadata and knowledge system, the Biodiversity Conservation Information System coordinated by the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), and the Information Systems Coordination Committee (ISCC) work on metadata for textual information. These could become components of a common data and knowledge base with some anticipatory planning and coordination. This would be an appropriate further step for the UN system-wide Earthwatch, assembling metadata, bringing together the components and establishing more formal working relationships between data custodians and those assembling information products. It was proposed that WCMC be invited to join Earthwatch and share its experience in this area.

23. The challenge of assembling a data and knowledge base will not be easy. There are problems assembling information within agencies as well as between them. Data collected by different agencies from governments are often inconsistent. A comparison of data reported on climate change issues showed discrepancies of 2% to 15% even from Western Europe in the numbers supplied to the UN Statistics Division, EUROSTAT and the UNFCCC because of different reporting formats or requirements. Wide differences were also cited between export and import statistics. Processes would need to be developed to resolve these inconsistencies and to strengthen the capacity of governments to report reliable information. The ISCC work on an extranet model for the UN system should make it possible by the end of the year to share unconfirmed information for checking within the UN system before making it public. The increasing use of thematic approaches would help countries to focus on data standards for specific sectors. The themes selected for discussion at the CSD in 2001 might provide a good focus for efforts to improve national databases.

Electronic information networking between Earthwatch partners

24. The new UNEP strategy proposed the joint creation of an electronic environmental information meta-system which could link sites across the UN system-wide Earthwatch and other partner organizations in a coherent integrated framework. This would take advantage of the considerable potential for increased interaction and coherence between these sites and systems. It would also respond to the UNEP Governing Council proposal for a common data and knowledge base.

25. Modalities for the development and coordination of such a system were reviewed by the Working Party. The ISCC had already decided that such systems should be based on Internet technology, which could provide whatever degree of security might be required. It would be necessary to create logical pathways between sites, and linkages within the partners' sites to Earthwatch activity pages. Earthwatch could also be linked directly from the UN system home page. The system could include secure networking for data checking and review, but should generally be available to the widest possible public. The need for adequate resources to manage such a system should not be underestimated, as metadata become obsolete quickly, and this would require full-time management by UNEP. The FAO effort to provide searchable access to all its documents has required adding metatags to every document to facilitate access. The experience of the Joint Data and Information Management Panel (JDIMP) of the Global Observing Systems in creating a common umbrella for information management in the three systems would be a useful model. Considerable further effort will be necessary to make more environmental information accessible in maps, graphics and other more easily assimilated and integrated formats. It would help to start developing the system in some specific thematic areas where goals can be defined for the system, available information identified, and outputs targeted to specific user groups.

26. Such a system will need to start with a clear vision of its ultimate aims, and these are already well spelled out in the Earthwatch Strategic Framework document. The next step is to develop a detailed plan with its resource implications. UNEP and Earthwatch Coordination were requested to prepare such a plan for the next Working Party meeting. A draft planning document could be prepared by UNEP. This should be considered at a technical meeting on the standards and protocols for linking all parts of the system, to which all Earthwatch partners would be invited to send appropriate specialists. The resulting plan could be considered at the next Earthwatch meeting.

27. There was concern that not everyone would benefit from such a system. The first priority for Earthwatch should be to enable governments to make scientifically-based decisions about the environment and sustainable development, but many governments in regions like Africa had little access to electronic media or the Internet, and would thus not be able to participate in such electronic information networking. Their capacity to access and use electronic information would have to be developed.

Integrated Global Observing Strategy and Global Observing Systems

28. The secretariat reported on the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) Partnership that had been created between the Global Observing Systems and their sponsors, the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) of the space agencies, the International Group of Funding Agencies (IGFA) and major global research programmes (WCRP, IGBP). Details were provided on the IGOS home page hosted by the Earthwatch web site (http://www.unep.ch/earthw/igos.htm). Plans for an IGOS Partners Forum at UNISPACE III were also reviewed. The strategic relationships developed through this process were significant in the Earthwatch context. For example the Global Observing Systems Space Panel was now accepted by the space agencies through CEOS as a principal channel for the definition of future user requirements for space-based observations of the environment.

29. Representatives of the Global Observing Systems present at the meeting (GOOS, GTOS) briefed the meeting on recent developments to improve the flow of basic data supporting Earthwatch processes across the UN system, including the linkage being established between GCOS, GOOS, GTOS and the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). IGOS could be used as a joint framework for presenting the observing systems at such meetings as the Conferences of the Parties to the FCCC, which was next meeting in Bonn in October. The Director of GOOS reported that a major conference on climate was planned for earlier in October among the research and operational communities to define what observations were needed as a support to national planning. Documentation was being developed jointly for this conference and, in summary form on the adequacy of the observing systems, for the FCCC meeting. The progress being made was very encouraging. Work in the coastal area was not so advanced, but a multiple use observing system was being designed in collaboration with GTOS. The GTOS Programme Director reported on progress in establishing a global system of terrestrial observation networks, developing the core terrestrial observations for satellite and in situ measurements, on the demonstration project on Net Primary Productivity, the updating of the TEMS meta-database, and efforts underway in Central and Eastern Europe and Southern Africa to establish regional programmes.  The need for accelerating progress in identifying terrestrial observation requirements from space was noted as was the need for space agencies to invest more systematically in processing or pre-processing their imagery so that it was more easily accessible by in situ scientists.

30. Earthwatch partners such as the other environmental conventions were urged to discuss their particular data needs with the observing systems. The Basel Convention, for instance, was interested in the possibility of monitoring hazardous waste dumps and contaminated land from space. This could be discussed at the IGOS Partners meeting in June. It would be important to get the relevant scientific advisory bodies to adopt guidelines for the specific kinds of data required, as the IPCC has done for climate data, as this would give credibility to such requests. It was probable that the space agencies would be interested in new uses of space observations for compliance processes under the conventions. The next step might be a joint meeting between the IGOS Partners and all the environmental convention secretariats or their advisory bodies to launch a dialogue on meeting their information requirements. This matter should be brought to the attention of the IGOS partners group at its meeting scheduled in Rome on 8 June 1999.

Future strategy and work programme for Earthwatch coordination

31. In the light of the previous consultation on the different strategic elements and activities across the UN system and beyond of relevance to Earthwatch, participants considered which Earthwatch coordination activities should be given priority in the year ahead. In addition to the basic Earthwatch activities, and in particular its Task Manager functions in preparing reports to the CSD, the following specific activities had high priority.

32. The encouragement of electronic information networking and the environmental information metasystem as described in the strategy and discussed in paragraphs 24-27 above would be an important new initiative, but to be successful could require a significant additional investment of time and resources from Earthwatch Coordination and UNEP. This would be complemented by the work demonstrating new integrated information and decision-support tools as described in paragraph 8, first for the next Earthwatch Working Party, and then for CSD-9. The IGOS Partnership should be challenged to contribute to this. An effort to find a more user-friendly format for the compendium of information on partners on the Earthwatch web site, and to develop it as a major access point for UN system information would also reinforce the system.

33. The collection of UN system contributions to the UNEP Environmental Observing and Assessment Strategy is another immediate priority, and Earthwatch will be helpful in organizing system-wide collaboration in its implementation. Since many organizations have strategic planning processes, documents or policies that include an information, observing and assessment dimension pertinent to Earthwatch, it would be desirable to make those available to all the Earthwatch partners for joint planning purposes. The Earthwatch partners agreed to provide relevant extracts or condensed summaries of their specific strategies and policies relevant to Earthwatch to the secretariat, which will compile them and make them available on its web site. Links to specific sections of documents on the web would also be acceptable.

34. Earthwatch should continue to strengthen the dialogue between users of environmental information and data producers. Proposals along these lines from this meeting should be communicated to the June meetings of the Sponsors Group on G3OS and the IGOS Partners, including the need for a meeting of the IGOS partners with the environmental conventions on the data requirements under the conventions.

35. Other specific items for action include system-wide involvement from an early stage in the GEO-3 process, and completing and extending the work on international scientific advisory processes in collaboration with UNESCO.

Other matters

36. Under other business, the participants discussed briefly their responses to the crisis in Kosovo. All the parts of the UN system recognized that this was a significant event, where all would need to work together at the appropriate time, and each organization was preparing accordingly. There would be a need to assess environmental damage and to plan for environmental restoration. However a specific interagency role in the context of Earthwatch was not so clear. The mechanism for collaboration was in place and could be drawn upon if needed.

37. The next meeting of the Earthwatch Working Party in 2000 should be held between the Ad Hoc Inter-sessionals and the CSD, so that decisions taken on preparations for reporting in 2001 could be followed up with governments during the CSD session. This would mean between the second week of March and the second week of April 2000 in Geneva, unless it is possible to associate it with another relevant meeting in New York. It would be desirable to include a demonstration by partners of some of the information systems for decision-making that might be included in a demonstration for the CSD-9 in 2001. At the request of the participants, the secretariat circulated the draft report of the meeting to them by e-mail for adoption.

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Earthwatch Working Party 5
Geneva, 3-4 May 1999


1. Opening of the meeting

2. Approval of the agenda and adoption of working procedures

3. Report by the secretariat on progress in Earthwatch

4. Task Manager functions for Chapter 40

5. Indicators of environment and sustainable development

6. Review of the UNEP Environmental Observing and Assessment Strategy

7. Review of international scientific advisory processes

8. UN system preparations for input to the Global Environment Outlook 3 process

9. Relevant decisions of other bodies

10. Electronic information networking between Earthwatch partners

11. Integrated Global Observing Strategy and Global Observing Systems

12. Future strategy and work programme for Earthwatch coordination

13. Other business

14. Date and venue of the next meeting

15. Adoption of the report of the meeting

16. Closing of the meeting




Mr Mikhail G. Kokine
Environment and Human Settlement Division
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
Palais des Nations, room 310
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 917 23 47
Fax: +4122 917 01 07


Mr Jerry Barton
Secretary and Principal Officer
Information Systems Coordination Committee
Palais des Nations, room C-552
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 917 2804
Fax: +4122 917 0248


Mrs Birgitte Bryld
Division for Sustainable Development
Department of Economic and Social Affairs
2 UN Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10017, U.S.A.
Tel: +1 212 963 84 00
Fax: 1 212 963 12 67


Mr Alphonse L. MacDonald
UNFPA Office in Geneva
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 917 85 74
Fax: +4122 917 80 16

Mr Sjaak Bavelaar
Senior External Relations Officer
UNFPA Office in Geneva
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 917 85 63
Fax: +5122 917 80 16

Ms Nicoletta Confalone
Junior Professional Officer
UNFPA Office in Geneva
Palais des Nations
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 917 85 70
Fax: +4122 917 80 16


Mr Stephen Gold
Programme Officer, Environmental Training
11-13 chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 917 1234
Fax: +4122 917 8047


Dr Zafar Adeel
Academic Programme Officer
Environment and Sustainable Development
The United Nations University Headquarters
53-70, Jingumae 5-chome
Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-8925, Japan
Tel: +81 03 3499-2811
Fax: +81 03 3499-2828


Mr Arthur Dahl
UN System-wide Earthwatch
United Nations Environment Programme
15 chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 917 82 07
Fax: +41 22 797 34 71

Ms Barbara Bierhuizen
GRID - Global Resource Information Database
15 chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 917 82 22
Fax: +41 22 917 80 29



Mr Jeff Tschirley
Global Terrestrial Observing System (GTOS)
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Tel: +39 06 5705 3450
Tel: +39 06 5705 3369


Mr Hugh Livingston
IAEA Marine Environment Laboratory
B.P. No. 800
MC 98012, Monaco
Tel: +337 97 97 72 79
Fax: +377 97 97 72 75

Ms Merle Opelz
IAEA Office in Geneva
CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 917 29 71
Fax: +4122 917 00 66


Mr Robert Missotten
1 rue Miollis
75732 Paris Cedex 15, France
Tel: +33 1 45 68 41 17
Fax: +33 1 45 68 58 22


Mr Colin Summerhayes
Director, GOOS Project Office
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
1 rue Miollis
75732 Paris Cedex 15, France
Tel: +33 1 45 68 40 42
Fax: +33 1 45 68 58 12


Dr Y. von Schirnding
Director a.i.
Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments
World Health Organization
20 avenue Appia
1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 791 3533 /3730
Fax: +41 22 791 41 23


Dr E.I. Sarukhanian
Observing System Division
World Weather Watch Department
World Meteorological Organization
Case postale 2300
CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 730 82 27
Fax: +4122 734 02 42


Basel Convention

Ms Asa Granados
Senior Programme Officer
Secretariat of the Basel Convention
15 chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 917 82 17
Fax: +41 22 797 34 54

Mr Vincent Jugault
Programme Officer
Secretariat of the Basel Convention
15 chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 917 92 21
Fax: +4122 797 34 54

U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change

Mr Kevin Grose
Manager, Information Support
Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC)
P.O. Box 260124
D-53153 Bonn, Germany
Tel: +49 228 815 1528
Fax: +49 228 815 1999

Mr Vitaly Matsarski
Manager, Annex I Implementation
Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC)
P.O. Box 260 124
D-53153 Bonn, Germany
Tel: +49 228 815 1405
Fax: +49 228 815 1999


Mr John Kundaeli
CITES Secretariat
15 chemin des Anémones
CH-1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +4122 917 81 31
Fax: +4122 917 34 17

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UN System-wide Earthwatch Coordination, Geneva