UNEP hosts first UNEA Science Policy Forum
On May 19-20 the United Nations Environment Programme is hosting the first Science Policy Forum. In the framework of the Second United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) – that will take place on May 23-17 – the Forum brings together policy-makers, scientists, researchers, and civil society stakeholders to discuss the role of science and knowledge in the delivery of the environmental dimension of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Using recent data on environmental challenges produced by UNEP and other organizations, policy-makers, scientists, and knowledge users, can evaluate how science-policy processes can support future-decision-making on sustainable development policies. The Forum also addresses the new opportunities for the emerging science-policy interface, recommending concrete measures for its collective understanding and application in policy-making.
One of the main goals of the two-days deliberation is to strengthen partnerships within the science community, and of scientific organizations with UNEP. It also aims at raising awareness about the science behind emerging environmental issues, and the importance of data for reporting against the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In the first day of discussions, the Science Policy Forum addressed issues of sustainable consumption and production, resource efficiency, the food-energy-water nexus, the impact of extractive sectors, climate change and air quality. Day 2 will include the launch of UNEP’s 2016 Frontiers Report, the GEO-6 Regional Assessments, and the key messages from the Global Gender and Environment Outlook (GGEO). Discussions will also focus on multi-level, multi-thematic, multi-sectoral data landscape for the SDGs through the UNEP Live SDG portal, and on the next steps for the science-policy interface.
As acknowledged by UNEP‘s Executive Director Achim Steiner during the opening session, science has been present in global environmental governance for the past decade. “Science is not without political dimension” he said, highlighting the importance of scientific knowledge and interdisciplinarity to understand the magnitude of the environmental change brought in by the Anthropocene and its effects on planetary boundaries. “We need to frame a conversation about the role of science on the environmental dimension and its foundation for development” he concluded.
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