In 1995, in support of UNEPs unique mandate within the UN system to keep under review the world environmental situation, (GA resolution 2997 of December 1972), the UNEP Governing Council requested a new, comprehensive report on the state of the world environment (Decision 18/27 C). The tool that UNEP employs to do this is the Global Environment Outlook or GEO. GEO is a process of conducting a global integrated environmental assessment that delivers the best available scientific findings to policy makers so that they can make informed decisions. In this way, the assessment bridges the science and policy realms.
GEO is also a product. Using integrated environmental assessment (IEA) methodology, UNEP has produced a series of GEO reports which have analyzed environmental state and trends at the global and regional scales, described plausible outlooks for various time frames and formulated policy options. Each GEO report builds on the assessment findings of its predecessor and also draws from lessons learned on process.
The 25th session of the UNEP Governing Council, through Decision 25/2: III, requested the Executive Director to undertake a comprehensive integrated global assessment, the fifth report in the Global Environment Outlook series, GEO-5
The UNs most comprehensive environmental assessment, GEO-5 provides the international community with the state of the global environment and related trends, covering atmosphere, land, water, biodiversity and other areas. The study also includes a global scorecard on internationally-agreed environmental goals. Progress and gaps towards achieving around 90 targets–from managing chemicals and tackling desertification to supporting wetlands–will be outlined in detail.
GEO-5 has identified policy responses for all global regions to deal with their most pressing environmental concerns and to support overall sustainable development.
As governments, civil society and other groups prepare for negotiations at Rio+20, GEO-5 will provide science-based analysis that maps out the extent of environmental pressures facing the planet and solutions for managing them sustainably.
This title is reviewed in USA Today - http://www.usatoday.com/weather/climate/story/2012-06-06/un-environment-report/55431404/1