Improving environmental geoscience communication - a policy perspective

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Joy Jacqueline Pereira
Chair, IUGS Commission on Geoscience for Environmental Management (IUGS-GEM)
Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI)
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Malaysia
Email: joy@pkrisc.cc.ukm.my

The governance of environmental issues at international and regional levels, is conducted via an intricate web of agreements, treaties, conventions and institutions. Crucial environmental issues are addressed through global or regional policy instruments such as Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), which provide for actions and initiatives by countries that are parties to these agreements and share their objectives. Sovereign nations have various governance systems to manage environment and development within their borders. At the national level, many countries have institutionalised environmental policy. A range of policy instruments is employed at various levels and sectors, across spatial and non-spatial scales to improve environmental management. Such instruments may be legislative, regulatory, procedural, economic or voluntary in nature, or a combination, depending on its purpose and the level, sector or scale of operation.

Environmental geoscience provides expertise and tools to map physical resources as well as assess and monitor them for pollution and mismanagement in a systematic and integrated approach. In addition, environmental geoscience can also contribute to assess the vulnerability of society to catastrophic and insidious environmental hazards. The three dimensional spatial and temporal approach of environmental geoscience allows for an appreciation of the "big picture" where the environment is concerned. Thus, environmental geoscience has an important role to play in developing novel knowledge and approaches that can support various policy instruments to promote sustainable development.

To contribute effectively in the policy arena, environmental geoscience information should be communicated in the right form, at the right time to the proper channel for a specific purpose. In this regard, the role of the IUGS Commission on Geoscience for Environmental Management (IUGS-GEM) is to develop approaches and provide guidance to environmental geoscientists on how best to integrate environmental geoscience into policy and to communicate its importance to potential interest groups such as policy makers, politicians, environmental organizations, other science disciplines, and the general public.

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Improving environmental geoscience communication - a policy perspective

  1. 1. <ul><ul><li>IMPROVING ENVIRONMENTAL GEOSCIENCE COMMUNICATION – A POLICY PERSPECTIVE </li></ul></ul>Joy Jacqueline Pereira Institute for Environment and Development (LESTARI) Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Chair, IUGS Commission on Geoscience for Environmental Management (IUGS-GEM)
  2. 2. <ul><li>Policy implementation involves: </li></ul><ul><li>Several levels (internat/nat/state/local/organisational etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Various sectors (resource sectors, industry category, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Both spatial and non-spatial scales </li></ul><ul><li>Policy instruments (regulatory, economic or voluntary in nature, or a combination) </li></ul><ul><li>Policy drivers: </li></ul><ul><li>Socio-economic Demands (e.g. economic growth, urbanisation, poverty eradication, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Considerations (e.g. air or water pollution, land degradation, etc.) </li></ul><ul><li>Societal Values (e.g. national sovereignty, cultural practices etc.) </li></ul>POLICY
  3. 3. <ul><li>Planning: </li></ul><ul><li>A policy instrument used by national, regional and local governments </li></ul><ul><li>Useful for implementing policies (e.g. landuse planning) </li></ul><ul><li>Planning System in urban areas involve: </li></ul><ul><li>Landuse planning to guide development and appropriate use of land areas including specific uses for designated sites </li></ul><ul><li>Regulation and granting of permission for development </li></ul>PLANNING
  4. 4. RELATIONSHIPS Project Planning Policy
  5. 5. ENV. GEOSCIENCE CONCERNS Geological inputs for EIA or Site Audits Project
  6. 6. ENV. GEOL. CONCERNS <ul><li>Geological inputs for landuse planning: </li></ul><ul><li>Conservation </li></ul><ul><li>Hazard prevention and mitigation </li></ul><ul><li>Resource utilisation </li></ul>Planning Project
  7. 7. SUSTAINABILITY BASED APPROACH Appropriate information at all levels and sectors for sustainable development <ul><li>REQUIREMENTS </li></ul><ul><li>Differentiate levels and sectors of contribution </li></ul><ul><li>Understand policy context </li></ul>Project Planning Policy
  8. 8. POLICY LEVELS <ul><li>Supra-national: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inter-governmental </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agreements (MEAs, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Action Plans), </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>trade groupings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Nation-state: </li></ul><ul><li>Primary location of legal competency, point of coordination between supranational processes and sub-national policy and processes </li></ul><ul><li>Sub-national: </li></ul><ul><li>State, provincial or territorial governments, local governments, vary significantly among countries </li></ul>Project Planning Policy
  9. 9. Federal/Central State/ County Local Authorities/ Municipalities Supra-national Policy Nation-state Policy Sub-national Policy <ul><li>Global Agreements & Action Plans </li></ul><ul><li>Regional Treaties </li></ul>Development Planning Spatial Planning & Implementation
  10. 10. Governance is the sum of the many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs (Commission on Global Governance, 1995) Governance encompasses the activities of governments but it also includes the many other channel through which ‘commands’ flow in the form of goals framed, directives issued and policies pursued (Rosenau 1995) GOVERNANCE
  11. 11. Accommodates the growing importance of non-state actors such as non-government organisations, community groups, corporations and other interest groups in policy-making. Simple coercive mechanisms are increasingly being broadened to include consensus building and other less direct or formal mechanisms. Good governance is emphasised as various interest groups navigate complementary and occasionally competitive functions in steering society towards agreed economic and environmental goals. GOVERNANCE
  12. 12. <ul><li>Industry </li></ul><ul><li>NGOs </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific Organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Community Based Organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Others </li></ul>Federal/Central State/ County Local Authority/ Municipalities <ul><li>International & Regional Institutions </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide for actions and initiatives by signatories </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Comprise institutions and activities </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Command substantial human and financial resources </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Prominent examples: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layers </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Convention on Biological Diversity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>UN Framework Convention on Climate Change </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SUPRA-NATIONAL: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. UN COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Landuse Planning Agency EXAMPLES OF INSTITUTIONS National Focal Points e.g.Ministry Project Planning Policy
  15. 15. <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>UN INITIATIVES ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>UNCED (1992): </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Programme of Action - Agenda 21 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Millennium Development Goals (2000) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>World Summit (2002): </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Johannesburg Plan of Implementation </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>UN-CSD 13th Session on 11-22 April 2005 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thematic focus for 2004-2005 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Water, Sanitation & Human Settlements </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Thematic focus for 2006-2007 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Energy, Indust. Dev. & Air/Climate Change </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>UN COMMISSION ON </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (CSD) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>2008/2009 - agriculture; rural development; land; drought; desertification; Africa </li></ul><ul><li>2010/2011 - transport; chemicals; waste management; mining; 10-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production patterns </li></ul><ul><li>2012/2013 - forests; biodiversity; biotechnology; tourism; </li></ul><ul><li>2014/2015 - oceans and seas; small island developing state; disaster management and vulnerability </li></ul><ul><li>2016/2017 - Overall appraisal </li></ul>
  17. 17. Criteria for relevance:- From the perspective of geoscience organisations: Level of awareness Linkage with National Focal Points Intra-Ministerial Linkages Inter-Ministerial Linkages From Focal Point Reports: Level of geoscience inputs Effectiveness of communication RELEVANCE OF GEOSCIENCE
  18. 18. Climate Change Disaster Reduction Sustainable Development Human Settlements Geoheritage Conservation Contaminated Lands Enviromental Assessment Site Investigations Geohazard Assessment Soil /Peat Resources Ocean/ Marine Resources Groundwater Resources & Extraction Mineral Resources & Extraction Level of Geoscience Inputs Potential Inputs Reported by Focal Points
  19. 19. Climate Change Disaster Reduction Sustainable Development Human Settlements Geoheritage Conservation Contaminated Lands Enviromental Assessment Site Investigations Geohazard Assessment Soil /Peat Resources Ocean/ Marine Resources Groundwater Resources & Extraction Mineral Resources & Extraction Effectiveness of Communication Potential for Direct / Indirect Cmctn Acknowledged by Focal Points
  20. 20. <ul><li>Industry </li></ul><ul><li>NGOs </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific Organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Community Based Organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Others </li></ul>Federal/Central State/ County Local Authority/ Municipalities <ul><li>International & Regional Institutions </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CHALLENGES </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of awareness of the relevance and significance of geoscience information </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Failure to present relevant data in a form that can be widely understood and which fits into the administrative procedures that are undertaken </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of information on benefits of the use of geoscience information </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. <ul><li>Disconnects at the international level? </li></ul><ul><li>Perceived non-relevance at national levels? </li></ul><ul><li>Poor ability to market geoscience knowledge? </li></ul><ul><li>Poor networking and advocacy skills? Geo-diplomat??? </li></ul><ul><li>Emergence of a new reality? </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WHY ??? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>THE NEW REALITY ??? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SCIENCE </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GOVERNANCE </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Multi-lateral Agreements Action Plan/ Strategies Institutional Set-up Political Awareness HISTORICAL PROFILE: CLIMATE CHANGE & DISASTER REDUCTION 2010 2000 1990 1980 1970 1975 1985 1995 2005 1990 1995 2001 BAPA MA 2007 KP IPCC 1999 2004 2005 ISDR UNEP/ WMD IDNDR IYPE HF UNFCC 1994 INCREASING INFLUENCE Scientific Intervention MDG
  25. 25. Multi-lateral Agreements Action Plan/ Strategies Institutional Set-up Political Awareness HISTORICAL PROFILE: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT & HUMAN SETTLEMENTS 2010 2000 1990 1980 1970 1975 1985 1995 2005 IYPE Scientific Intervention INCREASING INFLUENCE UNCHS H2 WCED UNCED CtrHS CHS HA A21 CSD JPOI ‘ 02 ‘ 06 ‘ 04 MDG
  26. 26. <ul><li>Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>International, national and local linkages </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to provide policy context to geoscience knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to create new knowledge based on geoscience through integrative, </li></ul><ul><li>multidisciplinary & transdisciplinary research </li></ul><ul><li>To network and form alliances and partnerships extending into non- geoscience domains </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CONSTRUCTING ADVANTAGE </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-requisites </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Creation of an enabling environment to improve understanding of policies, legislative framework and financing structures; </li></ul><ul><li>Clarification of institutional roles to improve forms and functions and develop human resources; </li></ul><ul><li>Integration of geoscience knowledge into existing policy instruments and creation of new geoscience-based instruments </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CONSTRUCTING ADVANTAGE </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Key Areas </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Enhanced knowledge based decision-making </li></ul><ul><li>Increased cost optimisation </li></ul><ul><li>Improved health and safety </li></ul><ul><li>Enhanced societal well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Progress towards sustainability </li></ul>ANTICIPATED OUTCOME
  29. 29. Thank You

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