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Environmental Governance


Environmental governance at the national, regional and global levels is critical for the achievement of environmental sustainability. Strengthened environmental governance should be in place at all levels to respond quickly and effectively to emerging environmental challenges, and to address agreed environmental priorities. Actions are required:

  • To support coherent international decision-making processes for environmental governance;
  • To catalyze international efforts to pursue the implementation of internationally agreed objectives;


To ensure the environmental governance at the country, regional and global levels is strengthened to address agreed environmental priorities.

  • To support regional, subregional and national environmental governance processes and institutions;
  • To promote and support the environmental basis for sustainable development at the national level.

Related Newsletters

ThumbnailEmerging Technologies: Smarter ways to fight wildlife crime

To keep pace with the "war on wildlife", conservation and law enforcement communities have started to adopt cutting-edge military tools and techniques.

ThumbnailWealth in the Oceans: Deep sea mining on the horizon?

It is important that policies guiding mineral extraction from the deep seas are rooted into adaptive management to avoid repeating instances of well-known destructive practices associated with conventional mining.

ThumbnailSand, rarer than one thinks

Sand and gravel are mined world-wide and account for the largest volume of solid material extracted globally. Formed by erosive processes over thousands of years, they are now being extracted at a rate far greater than their renewal.

ThumbnailThe future of the Aral Sea lies in transboundary co-operation

Diversion of water sources has caused the Aral Sea in Central Asia to decline significantly over the past five decades. It has broken into several smaller seas, leaving behind a vast desert and a multitude of environmental, economic and social problems.

ThumbnailSaving the Great Migrations: declining wildebeest in East Africa?

The iconic wildebeest migrations of East Africa are an important ecological phenomenon and massive tourist attraction. However, many wildebeest populations are in drastic decline across the region.

ThumbnailCyclone Phailin in India: Early warning and timely actions saved lives

Effective disaster planning, preparation and dissemination of early warning information led to a minimal death toll in the wake of the strongest cyclone to hit India in 14 years.

ThumbnailMunicipal solid waste: Is it garbage or gold?

The growth of the solid-waste market, increasing resource scarcity and the availability of new technologies are offering opportunities for turning waste into a resource.

ThumbnailWhere will the water go? Impacts of accelerated glacier melt in the Tropical Andes

Though glaciers are melting around the world, in the tropical Andes the nexus of melting glaciers, dwindling water resources, climate change and a dense population meet, creating an urgent need for awareness and management.

ThumbnailFrom Hotspots to Hopespots: Connecting local changes to global audiences

As changes to ecosystems and the environment continue to occur in response to growing population pressure and natural processes, ways to measure and observe these changes on a regular basis will become increasingly important.

ThumbnailBalancing economic development and protecting the cradle of mankind

There are very few international river basin agreements or cooperative arrangements in the small transboundary basins where development activities are currently taking place.

ThumbnailA new eye in the sky: Eco-drones

Drones can provide a low-cost, low-impact solution for environmental managers working in a variety of ecosystems. [Read More]

ThumbnailThe impact of corruption on climate change: threatening emissions trading mechanisms?

This bulletin provides an overview of recent discussions about the impact of corruption on environmental governance, with a focus on emissions trading.
[ Read more ]

ThumbnailTransnational Environmental Crime - a common crime in need of better enforcement

Environmental crime typically refers to any breach of a national or international environmental law or convention that exists to ensure the conservation and sustainability of the world's environment.
[ Read more ]

ThumbnailMeasuring progress - environmental goals and gaps

Over the last few decades, a great number of environmental goals and objectives have been adopted and a few success stories can be told. [ Read more ]

ThumbnailEarly Warning Systems - A State of the Art Analysis and Future Directions

This in-depth bulletin introduces the basic concepts of early warning systems, the role of earth observation for disasters and environment and it focuses on the existing early warning/monitoring systems while addressing the need to fill in the operational gaps for slow-onset hazards bot...

ThumbnailOne Planet, How Many People? A Review of Earth's Carrying Capacity

It is estimated that global population reached seven billion in late 2011 or early 2012. As global population has doubled since the 1960s, per capita GDP has grown to more than ten times what it was then. The human impact has grown to such a scale that it has become a major geophysical ...

ThumbnailKeeping Track of Our Changing Environment-From Rio to Rio +20 (1992-2012)

A timely update on what has occurred since the Earth Summit of 1992 and are part of the wider Global Environment Outlook-5 (GEO-5) preparations leading up to the release of the landmark GEO-5 report in June 2012. It underlines how in just twenty years, the world has changed more than most of us coul...

ThumbnailThe Need for Numbers-Goals, Targets and Indicators for the Environment

In the run-up to the June 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20), it has become increasingly clear that we need to put "sustainable development" into practice by setting time bound, measurable goals and targets and monitor progres...

ThumbnailThe Drying of Iran's Lake Urmia and its Environmental Consequences

Lake Urmia, in the northwestern corner of Iran, is one of the largest permanent hypersaline lakes in the world and the largest lake in the Middle East. A combination of drought and increased water diversion for irrigated agriculture within the lake&rspuo;s watershed has decreased the once 100 kmē la...

ThumbnailThe Decommissioning of Nuclear Reactors and Related Environmental Consequences

A few decades ago, it was said that the debate on nuclear power had "reached an intensity unprecedented in the history of technology controversies" (Kitschelt 1986). However, the controversy over nuclear power has resurfaced today with a similar gravity. Advocates point to nuclear power as...

ThumbnailThe Rush for Land and Its Potential Environmental Consequence

To feed a global population of 9.3 billion by 2050 (2.4 billion more than today, UNPD 2011) FAO estimates that global food demand will increase by 70 per cent (FAO 2009). Net investment in agriculture needs to exceed US$83 billion per year (50 per cent above current levels) to meet future demand (FA...

ThumbnailOne Small Planet, Seven Billion People by Years End and 10.1 Billion by Centurys End

The two most widely cited estimates of global population project that Earth will be home to seven billion people sometime in late 2011 or early 2012 (US Census Bureau 2011, UNPD 2011a). The most recent billion was added in about 13 years; it took 12 years for the billion before that; 13 years for th...

ThumbnailGeoengineering to Combat Global Warming

As average temperatures continue to climb because of climate change, some scientists are proposing quick fixes to buy time. Recent overviews of geoengineering schemes show that tampering with large-scale natural systems can have unintended side effects and their environmental, social and legal impli...

ThumbnailLargest Fire in Israel's History Consistent with Climate Change Predictions

A wildfire in early December, described as the largest in Israel's history, burned nearly 2000 ha of pine and oak forest surrounding Mt. Carmel. The fire is consistent with predictions made by Israel's ministry of environment in a report released over a decade ago, and reiterated in a follow-up repo...

ThumbnailPakistan's Flood of the Century is a Global Disaster

Northwestern Pakistan experienced its worst flooding in a century in late-July and early-August 2010. Unusually heavy monsoon rains led the Indus River to inundate areas far beyond its banks affecting the densely populated Punjab and other regions. More than 1 600 people have died, 2 million are hom...

ThumbnailCarp Aquaculture Overwhelms Lake Kolleru Andhra Pradesh, India

Lake Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary, a vast shallow wetland habitat, is the sole Ramsar-designated wetland in Andhra Pradesh, India (Ramsar 2002, FAO 2006). It serves as a natural flood-balancing reservoir between the deltas of the Krishna and Godavari Rivers (Nagabhatla and others 2009) and is a source...