Environment for the future we want
First published by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2012Copyright 2012, United Nations Environment ProgrammeISB...
Environment for the future we want
Acknowledgements     This fifth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5) assessment              Amir El-Sammak, Tom P. Evans, C...
GEO-5 FundingThe Governments of Canada, Norway, Republic of Korea, the              provided the necessary funding for the...
Contents       Acknowledgements                                 vi       Foreword                                        x...
FiguresChapter 1: Drivers                                                                           Chapter 3: LandThe dem...
Thermal power and hydropower plant locations and water                                    Recent flood events in the Hindu...
Sites designated under the Habitats Directive and                                          Population and income projectio...
Tables      Chapter 1: Drivers                                                                             Mutually reinfo...
BoxesChapter 1: Drivers                                                                                  Chapter 5: Biodiv...
Enhancing traditional water harvesting practices in                                         Payment for ecosystem services...
Identifying financial flows for environmental response............466                      Technology Mechanism at the UNF...
Foreword      Anyone wishing to understand the pace and scale of      environmental change will find UNEP’s flagship asses...
PrefaceSince the days of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese,through the Islamic Golden Age and the Renaissance,phil...
Introduction        THE EARTH SYSTEM CONTEXT                                              scientific and conservation comm...
goals and targets but also the development of specific goals          overarching socio-economic forces that exert varying...
Following a screening exercise, policies or policy clusters that either                  possible to apply a consistent ap...
The appraisal explored the benefits of the policies and the enabling          integrated sustainable world scenario is inc...
Part 1: State and Trends of theEnvironment                 Chapter 1:                 Drivers                 Chapter 2:  ...
“As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog acrossthe poisoned waters of our native Earth, we mu...
C H A P T E R                                                                                                             ...
Main Messages    The scale, spread and rate of change of global            action. Three-quarters of the agricultural land...
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GEO5 Report

  1. 1. Environment for the future we want
  2. 2. First published by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2012Copyright 2012, United Nations Environment ProgrammeISBN: 978-92-807-3177-4Job Number: DEW/1417/NAThis publication may be reproduced in whole or in part and in any form for educational or nonprofitservices without special permission from the copyright holder, provided acknowledgement of thesource is made. UNEP would appreciate receiving a copy of any publication that uses this publicationas a source.No use of this publication may be made for resale or any other commercial purpose whatsoeverwithout prior permission in writing from the United Nations Environment Programme.Applications for such permission, with a statement of the purpose and extent of the reproduction,should be addressed to the Director, DCPI, UNEP, P.O. Box 30552, Nairobi, 00100, Kenya.The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply theexpression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNEP concerning the legal status of any country,territory or city or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.For general guidance on matters relating to the use of maps in publications please go to:http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/english/9701474e.htmDISCLAIMERThe designations employed and the presentations do not imply the expression of any opinionwhatsoever on the part of UNEP or contributory organisations, editors or publishers concerning the legalstatus of any country, territory, city or area or its authority, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiersor boundaries or the designation of its name of allegiances. The maps and the supporting data reflectand report on a time before the foundation of South Sudan as an independent state. It has not beenpossible for the drafting group to disaggregate existing data between Sudan and South Sudan. Themaps and map data are therefore not legal descriptions or any representation of an official UN position.Mention of a commercial company or product in this publication does not imply endorsement by theUnited Nations Environment Programme. The use of information from this publication concerningproprietary products for publicity or advertising is not permitted.Cover design: MJS, Kenya and Jason JabbourLayout: Ali CherriPrinted and bound in Malta by Progress Press Ltd, MaltaPROGRESS PRESS LTDP.O. BOX 328 341 ST. PAUL STREETCMR 01VALLETTA, MALTA
  3. 3. Environment for the future we want
  4. 4. Acknowledgements This fifth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-5) assessment Amir El-Sammak, Tom P. Evans, C. Max Finlayson, report is a product of the strong dedication and extraordinary Erica Brown Gaddis, Nesreen Ghaddar, Keisha Garcia, investment of numerous individuals, whose knowledge, Paul Roger Glennie, Yi Huang, Carol A. Hunsberger, Maria Ivanova, expertise and insight helped shape this important body of Jill Jäger, Peter N. King, Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna, Bernice Lee, work. UNEP acknowledges the contributions made by many Marc A. Levy, Lailai Li, Clever Mafuta, Ruben Mnatsakanian, governments, individuals and institutions to the preparation and Jennifer Clare Mohamed-Katerere, Alexandra C. Morel, publication of this report. A full list of names of individuals and Begum Ozkaynak, Neeyati Patel, Renat Perelet, Laszlo Pinter, institutions involved in the assessment process is included from Pierre Portas, Walter Rast, Asha Singh, Detlef P. van Vuuren, pages 498–504. Special thanks are extended to: Roy Victor Watkinson and Joanna Noelia Kamiche Zegarra. High-Level Intergovernmental Advisory Panel Scientific Peer-Reviewers (Coordinated by the Earth System Science Partnership) Rajender Ahlawat, Hussein A. Al-Gunied, Mohammed Saif Al-Kalbani, Wahid Al-Shuely, Burcu Bursali, Mantang Cai, Sandra De Carlo, Keigo Akimoto, Mahmoud Ali, Erik Ansink, Masroor Ellahi Babar, Jorge Laguna Celis, Guilherme da Costa, Raouf Dabbas, David Barkin, Janos Bogardi, Philippe Bourdeau, Josep Canadell, Martijin Dadema, Idunn Eidheim, Prudence Galega, Nilkanth Ghosh, Graciela Ana Canziani, Andrea Birgit Chavez Michaelesen, Rosario Gomez, Xia Guang, Han Huiskamp, Jos Lubbers, Kevin Cheung, Antonio Cruzado, S≈hobhakar Dhakal, Serigne Faye, John Michael Matuszak, Samira Nateche, Kim Thi Thuy Ngoc, Marina Fischer-Kowalski, Emma Archer van Garderen, Van Tai Nguyen, Jose Rafael Almonte Perdomo, Amadou Thierno Gaye, Mark O. Gessner, Evgeny Gordov, Majid Shafie-Pour-Motlagh, Jiang Wei, Albert Williams and Dagmar Haase, Itsuki Handoh, Nick Harvey, Lars Hein, Daniel Ziegerer. Gerhard J. Herndl, Shu-Li Huang, Falk Huettmann, Ada Ignaciuk, Muhammad Mohsin Iqbal, Louise Jackson, Sharad Jain, Ian Jenkinson, Science and Policy Advisory Board Rainer Krug, Nelson Lourenco, Angela M. Maharaj, Miyuki Nagashima, Daiju Narita, Isabelle Niang, Patrick Nunn, Jay O’Keeffe, Joseph Alcamo, Asma Ali Abahussain, Pinhas Alpert, Jean-Pierre Ometto, Ursula Oswald Spring, Claudia Pahl-Wostl, Torkil Jonch Clausen, Ahmed Djoghlaf, Susanne Droege, Nirmalie Pallewatta, Henrique M. Pereira, Erika Pires Ramos, Kejun Jiang, Nicholas King, Filipo Lansigan, Anne Larigauderie, Germán Poveda, Francesc Prenafeta, Seema Purushothaman, Jacqueline McGlade, Luisa T. Molina, Toral Patel-Weynand, Dork Sahagian, Galia Selaya, Mika Sillanpaa, Maria Siwek, Erika Techera, Nicolas Perritaz, Carlos A. Quesada, Emilio Lèbre La Rovere, Holm Tiessen, Klement Tockner, Aysun Uyar, Tracy Van Holt, Chirapol Sintunawa, Sandra Torrusio, George Varughese and Stefano Vignudelli, Hassan Virji, Angela Wagener and Hong Yang. Robert Watson. Outreach Group Data and Indicators Working Group Adel Farid Abdel-Kader, Robert Barnes, Matthew Billot, Asma Ali Abahussain, Ezgi Akpinar-Ferrand, Sandra de Carlo, Peter Browne, Bryan Coll, Richard Crompton, Ivica Cvetanovski, Barbara Clark, Volodymyr Demkine, Alexander Gorobets, Salif Diop, Marie Daher, Silvia Giada, Peter Gilruth, Eszter Horvath, Koffi Kouadio, Murari Lal, Samwiri Musisi-Nkambwe, Elisabeth Guilbaud-Cox, Suzanne Howard, Alexander Juras, Ambinistoa Lucie Noasilalaonomenjanahary, Toral Patel-Weynand, Satwant Kaur, Fatoumata Keita-Ouane, Fanina Kodre-Alexander, Muhammad Munir Sheikh, Ashbindu Singh, Anil Kumar Thanappan, Alejandro Laguna, Thor-Jürgen Greve Løberg, Graciela Metternicht, Susan Tumwebaze, Héctor Tuy and Jaap van Woerden. Amos Muema, Nicole Lettington, Michael Logan, Angele Luh, Kelvin Memia, Waiganjo Njoroge, Nick Nuttall, Neeyati Patel, Coordinating Lead Authors Audrey Ringler, Stuart Roberts, Andrea Salinas, Ashbindu Singh, Janet Fernandez Skaalvik, Anna Stabrawa, Mia Turner, May Antoniette Ajero, Dolors Armenteras, Jane Barr, Frank Turyatunga, Isabelle Valentiny, Ronald Witt, Jinhua Zhang, Ricardo Barra, Ivar Baste, James Dobrowolski, Nicolai Dronin, Laetitia Zobel and Shereen Zorba.vi Acknowledgements
  5. 5. GEO-5 FundingThe Governments of Canada, Norway, Republic of Korea, the provided the necessary funding for the production of GEO-5 andNetherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the Gwangju Metropolitan subsequent outreach activities. Contributions were also providedCity, Republic of Korea, together with the UNEP Environment Fund, by GRID-Arendal and the Development Bank of Latin America.Global Environment Outlook 5GEO-5 Core Team: Matthew Billot (Head of GEO Unit), Ludgarde Coppens, Volodymyr Demkine, Salif Diop, Peter Gilruth,Jason Jabbour, Josephine Nyokabi Mwangi, Fatoumata Keita-Ouane, Brigitte Ohanga, Nalini SharmaRegional Coordinating Team: Adel Farid Abdel-Kader, Fouad Abousamra, Silvia Giada, Graciela Metternicht, Charles Sebukeera,Ashbindu Singh, Anna Stabrawa, Frank Turyatunga, Jaap van Woerden, Ronald Witt, Jinhua ZhangProduction Coordination: Jason JabbourProduction Support: Sarah Abdelrahim, Sylvia Adams, Joana Akrofi, Joseph Alcamo, Chris Ambala, Liana Archaia-Atanasova,Suzanne Bech, Charles Davies, Tessa Goverse, Loise Kinuthia, Fanina Kodre, Sunday Leonard, Kelvin Memia, Monika G. MacDevette,Patrick M’mayi, Edwin Mwanyika, Trang Nguyen, Thierry De Oliveira, Audrey Ringler, Tunnie Srisakulchairak, Erick Litswa,Mick Wilson, Shereen ZorbaUNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC): Mari Bieri, Satu Glaser, Maxwell Gomera, Abisha Mapendembe,Alison M. Rosser, Jörn Scharlemann, Matt J. WalpoleGlobal Resources Information Database Centre, Norway (GRID-Arendal): Björn Alfthan, John Crump, Lawrence Hislop,Tiina Kurvits, Thor-Jürgen Greve Løberg, Clever Mafuta, Riccardo Pravettoni, Peter Prokosch, Petter Sevaldsen, Janet Fernandez SkaalvikGEO-5 E-peer-review System: Herb Caudill, Shane KunkleData Support: Andrea de Bono, Dominique del Pietro, Stefan Schwarzer, Jaap van WoerdenMaps and Graphics: Riccardo Pravettoni (GRID-Arendal), UNEP/GRID-Geneva, Mattias Turini, Nieves López Izquierdo, Audrey RinglerEditorial Team: Bart Ullstein, Helen de Mattos, Christine Hawkins, Catherine P. McMullen, Jason Jabbour, Jörn ScharlemannDesign and Layout: GRID-Arendal, Ali CherriEditorial and Outreach Coordination: Neeyati Patel Acknowledgements vii
  6. 6. Contents Acknowledgements vi Foreword xvi Preface xvii Introduction xviii Part 1: State and Trends of the Environment 1 Drivers 3 Atmosphere 31 Land 65 Water 97 Biodiversity 133 Chemicals and Waste 167 An Earth System Perspective 193 Review of Data Needs 215 Part 2: Policy Options 231 Africa 233 Asia and the Pacific 259 Europe 289 Latin America and the Caribbean 317 North America 349 West Asia 373 Regional Summary 399 Part 3: Global Responses 417 Scenarios and Sustainability Transformation 419 Global Responses 457 The GEO-5 Process 489 Acronyms and Abbreviations 493 Contributors 498 Glossary 505 Index 520viii Contents
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FiguresChapter 1: Drivers Chapter 3: LandThe demographic transition........................................................7 Area in use for cropland and pasture in 2009, by region,Urban population, 1950–2050...................................................8 and global change between 1960 and 2010..........................68Change in population density, 1990–2005.................................9 Area harvested in 2010 and the change between 2001Change in economic output, 1990–2005..................................10 and 2010, selected crops......................................................70A simple interpretation of the environmental Kuznets curve.........12 Average food supply in 2007 and the change betweenChange in meat supply by region, 1960–2007..........................13 1998 and 2007, by region.....................................................71Growth in population, GDP, trade and CO2 emissions, Change in forest area by region, 1990–2010.............................72 1990–2008..........................................................................19 Global extent of drylands and human-induced drylandThe transfer of CO2 emissions between developed and degradation..........................................................................74 developing countries, 1990–2010........................................21 UNCCD operational objectives and achievements, 2010............75The great acceleration after the Second World War....................22 Changes in Arctic vegetation, 1982–2005.................................77 Urban expansion in the Pearl River Delta, China, 1990–2009......78Chapter 2: Atmosphere Distribution of the urban population of developing countries,Impacts of and links between selected substances emitted by city size ...........................................................................78 to the atmosphere................................................................33 Food security and environmental goals for agriculture by 2050......80Trends in temperature change and atmospheric CO2 Projected changes in sub-Saharan African crop yields due concentrations, 1850–2010..................................................37 to climate change, 2050.......................................................81Temperature change over the 20th century................................37 Change in global population and in meat, fish andTrends in Arctic sea ice extent in winter and autumn, seafood supplies, 1992–2007..............................................82 1979–2010..........................................................................38 Clear-cut deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon,Figure 2.5 Trends in African and South and West Asian 1988–2011.......................................................................83 rainfall, May-September, 1960-1998.....................................38 Area under cultivation for selected crops in humid tropicalFigure 2.6 Trends in fossil fuel emissions, calculated and countries, 1960–2010..........................................................84 IPCC scenarios, 1990–2015..................................................39Figure 2.7 The emissions gap....................................................40 Chapter 4: WaterFigure 2.8 Regional trends in sulphur dioxide emissions, Annual average water scarcity in major river basins, 1850–2050..........................................................................42 1996–2005........................................................................102Areas at risk and timeframe for acidification damage in Asia........43 Current and projected water withdrawals by sector,Regional trends in emissions of nitrogen oxides and 2000–2050........................................................................103 ammonia, 1850–2050 .........................................................45 Global annual groundwater depletion, 2000...........................104Trends in nitrogen deposition to protected areas, 2000–2030......46 Annual global and regional water footprint, 1996–2005..........105National ambient air quality standards and WHO guidelines Global irrigation efficiencies, 2000.........................................106 for PM10..............................................................................48 Virtual water imports, exports and flows around the world,Urban PM10 trends in selected regions and cities, 1993–2009 .....48 1996–2005........................................................................106Sources of ozone over polluted regions of the northern People affected by and damages associated with floods hemisphere, 1850 and 2000.................................................49 and droughts, 1980–2010..................................................107Regional changes in concentrations of surface ozone, Global density of medium to large dams.................................108 1960–2000..........................................................................50 Estimated risk of arsenic in drinking water, based onProjected changes in surface ozone concentrations over hydrogeological conditions.................................................109 polluted regions of the northern hemisphere, 2000–2050.....51 Faecal coliform concentrations in rivers near major cities –Consumption of ozone-depleting substances, 1986–2009........52 an indicator of waterborne pathogens, 1990–2011 .................110Reduction of ozone-depleting substances in the stratosphere, Population without access to improved sanitation 1994–2009..........................................................................52 compared to MDG target, 1990–2015.................................111Antarctic ozone hole extent, 1980–2010..................................52 World hypoxic and eutrophic coastal areas, 2010....................112The World Avoided modelled UV index, 1975, 2020 and 2065......53 Trends in organochlorine contamination in selectedLeaded petrol phase-out, 2002 and 2011.................................55 deep-sea fish species, 1995–2005.....................................113Petrol and blood lead levels in Sweden following the Threats to water security with and without infrastructure phase-out of lead in petrol, 1976–2004................................56 investment, 2000 ..............................................................115Blood lead levels in the United States following the Population without access to improved drinking water, phase-out of lead in petrol, 1976–2008................................56 1990–2015.......................................................................... 116Projected effects of measures to reduce CO2, methane and black Cholera cases by region, 1989–2009......................................117 carbon emissions in relation to a reference scenario..............59 CO2 concentrations and ocean acidification in theAtmospheric brown cloud over part of South Asia......................60 North Pacific, 1960–2010...................................................120 Contents ix
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Thermal power and hydropower plant locations and water Recent flood events in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region..........202 stress levels in five countries of South and South East Asia.......121 Forest fires in Canada, 1920-1999..........................................205 Progress in the development and implementation of World shale gas basins identified by the US Energy integrated water management plans....................................122 Information Agency.............................................................205 Map of 18 regional seas and 64 large marine The ecological footprint and biocapacity of regions, 2002..........206 ecosystems, 2011..............................................................124 Global material extraction, 1900–2005..................................207 International river basins, 2000..............................................125 Conceptual description of planetary boundaries where Freshwater conflict by type of issue, 1948–1999 and the boundary is set to avoid the crossing of a critical 2000–2008........................................................................126 threshold in an Earth System process..................................208 Transition phases...................................................................209 Chapter 5: Biodiversity Major threats to vertebrates listed as critically endangered, Chapter 8: Review of Data Needs endangered or vulnerable on the IUCN Red List....................139 Example of a country snapshot on environment statistics, Biodiversity indicator trends ..................................................141 from Uganda.......................................................................226 Numbers of vertebrates globally threatened by National environment statistics programmes and thematic overexploitation, 2010........................................................142 coverage, 2007...................................................................228 Trends in the state of global fishery stocks, 1950–2006..........142 The ecological footprint, 1961–2007......................................144 Chapter 9: Africa Living Planet Index, 1970–2007.............................................145 Exposure and vulnerability to floods in sub-Saharan Africa, Red List Indices of species survival for all species of birds, 1980–2010........................................................................235 mammals, amphibians and corals, 1980–2010 ..................145 Food insecurity in selected Southern African cities, Relationships between biodiversity, ecosystem services 2008–2009........................................................................235 and human well-being........................................................146 Selected strategies from the policy options for strengthening Red List Indices of species survival for birds and mammals key components of capacity................................................254 used for food and medicine, 1988–2008............................147 Distribution and conservation status of medicinal plant Chapter 10: Asia and the Pacific species assessed for the IUCN Red List, by region, 2009.......... 147 Selected climate change policies............................................266 Commitments to manage alien invasive species, Selected biodiversity policies.................................................269 1970–2010........................................................................151 Selected freshwater policies...................................................272 Extent of nationally designated protected areas, Selected chemical and waste policies.....................................276 1990–2010 .......................................................................152 Selected governance policies.................................................278 Proportion of each terrestrial ecoregion covered by protected areas, 2011.........................................................153 Chapter 11: Europe Language endangerment as a share of all languages, 2010.........155 Sectoral trends and projections for The number and type of access and benefit-sharing EU-27 greenhouse gas emissions, 1990–2020....................295 measures, 2011.................................................................156 EU Emissions Trading System cap, 2005–2050.......................296 Scenarios of species change ..................................................158 Electricity capacity in the EU-27 from biomass, on-shore wind and photovoltaic sources, 2005–2010........................297 Chapter 6: Chemicals and Waste Passenger cars and light-duty trucks meeting Transmission of national reports by Parties to the Basel Euro standards...................................................................299 Convention, 1999–2009.....................................................173 Euro-based standards and their adoption in Asia, Chemical sales by country, 2009............................................174 1995–2018........................................................................300 Life-cycle analysis of chemicals .............................................176 European sulphur dioxide emission reductions, PCBs in beached plastics........................................................177 1980–2004........................................................................301 DDT levels in humans, 1960–2008.........................................179 Complex links between objectives and actors involved Trends in two PCBs from air monitoring data at two sites in managing the Tisza Basin................................................303 in the northern hemisphere, 1995–2005.............................179 Agricultural use of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) in Denmark, 1960–2007...............................304 Chapter 7: An Earth System Perspective Varying water tariff structures in selected European Changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations...........................195 countries...............................................................................305 Examples of regime shifts resulting from different drivers Moving up the waste hierarchy...............................................306 and feedbacks....................................................................198 A life-cycle approach to resource efficiency.............................306 Observed change in annual mean surface air temperature, Trends in municipal solid waste treatment in the EU, 1960–2009........................................................................199 1995–2008...........................................................................307x Contents
  9. 9. Sites designated under the Habitats Directive and Population and income projections in the scenario the Birds Directive, 1995–2009..........................................309 literature, 2000–2050 .......................................................427Conservation status of EU habitats and species, 2008.............310 Emissions and temperature scenarios.....................................429European forest area and status, by region, 2010....................311 Scenarios for sulphur emissions ............................................429 An example of primary energy use and annual changeChapter 12: Latin America and the Caribbean in CO2 emissions in sustainable world scenarios..................431The core constituents of environmental governance................320 Food consumption and child undernourishment underA governance framework for large marine ecosystems.............323 different scenarios..............................................................433Population with access to improved sources of drinking water......326 Trends in land use, 1970–2050..............................................433Population with access to improved sanitation........................327 Water withdrawals under different scenarios, 2000–2050.........436Estimated population density in Latin America and the Water withdrawals under conventional world and Caribbean, 2010 ................................................................328 sustainable world scenarios, 2005–2050............................437Common ground for sustainability..........................................339 Water stress under current conditions and for 2050 under conventional and sustainable world scenarios ....................438Chapter 13: North America Changes in the extent of forest up to 2050 in differentThe Great Lakes Basin............................................................363 global scenarios, and estimated rates of species loss .........439Proposed renewable energy zones, potential transmission Options for reducing biodiversity loss by 2050........................440 expansion and the growth of wind power in Texas................368 Marine catches with and without a reduction in fishing effort, by region, 1950–2050..............................................441Chapter 14: West AsiaPriorities for action in West Asia.............................................376 Chapter 17: Global ResponsesDomestic water supply and sanitation in West Asia, Growth in ratification of environmental treaties, 1990–2015........................................................................377 1971–2011........................................................................464Primary energy consumption in West Asia, 2004–2008...........385 The Environment Fund, 1973–2009........................................466Reclaimed land in Bahrain, 1963–2008..................................392 GEF portfolio and co-financing allocations by focal area, 1991–2010........................................................................468Chapter 16: Scenarios and Sustainability Transformation OECD countries’ aid commitments to UNCCD, CBD andConventional world and sustainable world scenarios.............422 UNFCCC, 1998–2009 .........................................................469Layers of transformation.........................................................423 Scenarios projecting the impacts of environmental risksTwin challenge.......................................................................424 on human development, 1980–2050..................................470 Contents xi
  10. 10. Tables Chapter 1: Drivers Mutually reinforcing outcomes through effective Demographic data, 2011............................................................6 implementation of selected policy options.........................238 International migration, 1950–2100...........................................8 Estimated numbers of low-income households likely to benefit from payment for ecosystem services in Chapter 2: Atmosphere developing countries within the next two decades..............243 Atmospheric issues affecting achievement of the Selected regional approaches.................................................244 Millennium Development Goals...........................................34 Selected internationally agreed goals and themes related Chapter 10: Asia and the Pacific to atmospheric issues..........................................................35 Policies selected for analysis..................................................265 Concentrations of greenhouse gases, 2005, 2009 and 2010.......38 Transferability of priority policies in Asia and the Pacific............282 Global burden of disease due to particulate air pollution...........47 Progress towards goals.............................................................61 Chapter 11: Europe Country groupings used in various environment-related Chapter 3: Land reporting and policy initiatives in Europe............................292 Selected internationally agreed goals and themes related Selected themes, goals and policy options and examples to land................................................................................73 of success.........................................................................294 Plantation area in 2010 and the increase between 2000 and 2010, by region ............................................................73 Chapter 12: Latin America and the Caribbean Estimates of global wetland area..............................................76 Environmental governance case studies..................................321 Timber and fibre consumption, 2002 and 2008.........................85 Water case studies.................................................................324 Progress towards goals.............................................................89 Biodiversity case studies........................................................330 Land case studies in Latin America and the Caribbean............335 Chapter 4: Water Climate change case studies...................................................338 Selected internationally agreed goals and themes Links and co-benefits across selected policies........................342 related to water.................................................................101 Observed and projected impacts of climate change on Chapter 13: North America key hydrological variables..................................................118 Priority themes and related global goals.................................351 Progress towards goals...........................................................127 Chapter 14: West Asia Chapter 5: Biodiversity Energy savings and peak-power reductions in Kuwait..............388 Selected internationally agreed goals and themes Renewable energy targets for selected countries.....................390 related to biodiversity........................................................138 Progress towards goals...........................................................159 Chapter 15: Regional Summary Priority themes by region........................................................401 Chapter 6: Chemicals and Waste Selected internationally agreed goals related to Chapter 16: Scenarios and Sustainability Transformation chemicals and waste.........................................................172 Goals and targets on the road to 2050....................................426 Quantities of obsolete pesticides...........................................181 Selected indicators for the conventional and sustainable Global inventory of radioactive waste, 2004............................182 world scenarios.................................................................434 Progress towards goals ..........................................................187 Overview of the gap between the conventional and sustainable world scenarios and important measures to close the gap.......442 Chapter 8: Review of Data Needs Threshold 21 scenario results for key indicators......................443 Environmental Data Explorer: data providers...........................219 Selected regional initiatives and priorities for Chapter 17: Global Responses environmental information.................................................225 Core elements of the UN system-wide environmental response regime................................................................462 Chapter 9: Africa Financial resources available to selected global Regionally selected policy goals.............................................236 multilateral environmental agreements, 2010....................467xii Contents
  11. 11. BoxesChapter 1: Drivers Chapter 5: BiodiversityFacilitating the demographic transition through Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 and the Aichi education................................................................................... 7 Biodiversity Targets ...........................................................136Expressing prosperity beyond GDP..........................................11 Biodiversity vision: a world in harmony with nature.................139Greenhouse gas emissions and international trade...................21 Global Biodiversity Outlook....................................................140Information and communication technologies: The ecological footprint: an indicator of the pressures a vicious cycle?...................................................................24 on biodiversity..................................................................144Conclusions of driver-centred thinking......................................26 Genetic modification .............................................................150 Examples of community management.....................................154Chapter 2: AtmosphereClimate change........................................................................36 Chapter 6: Chemicals and WasteSulphur pollution.....................................................................41 Multilateral environmental agreements and the soundAtmospheric nitrogen pollution................................................43 management of chemicals.................................................171Particulate matter....................................................................46 Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) (WSSD 2002)Tropospheric ozone..................................................................49 Paragraph 23.....................................................................173Stratospheric ozone.................................................................51 Waste in the OECD .................................................................175Lead in petrol...........................................................................54 Waste generated on board ship..............................................178Complementary actions to limit near-term climate change Human health, the environment and persistent and improve air quality........................................................59 organic pollutants .............................................................178Atmospheric brown clouds.......................................................60 Funding: an ongoing challenge ..............................................186Chapter 3: Land Chapter 7: An Earth System PerspectiveEradicating hunger...................................................................68 Examples of Earth System interactions influenced byForests.....................................................................................71 human activities................................................................196Restoring wetlands along the Mississippi..................................79 Regime shifts ........................................................................198The Mau Forests complex, Kenya..............................................79 Antarctic biodiversity.............................................................200Brazil’s forest policy and soy moratorium..................................83 The ecological footprint .........................................................206Palm oil expansion and rainforest destruction in Indonesia.........84 Innovative response to a crisis................................................210Sustainable dryland management............................................88 The transition to improved governance of the Great Barrier Reef..............................................................210Chapter 4: WaterJohannesburg Plan of Implementation Paragraph 26c..............100 Chapter 8: Review of Data NeedsWater scarcity........................................................................102 The three principal data gaps on drivers of globalWater demand.......................................................................103 environmental change.......................................................217Water-use efficiency...............................................................105 Glacier monitoring in the Himalayas........................................222Extreme events......................................................................107Dams and river fragmentation................................................108 Chapter 9: AfricaGroundwater contamination...................................................109 The Sangha Tri-National Landscape........................................239Pathogenic contamination......................................................110 Collaborative water management: Organization for theNutrient pollution and eutrophication.....................................111 Development of the Senegal River Basin.............................239Marine litter...........................................................................112 A network of managers in the Mediterranean...........................240Toxic chemicals......................................................................113 Successful pollution management in the WesternBallast water and invasive species..........................................114 Indian Ocean.....................................................................242Water security........................................................................114 The Ambatovy Business and Biodiversity OffsetsAccess to improved water.......................................................115 Programme (BBOP), Madagascar .......................................242Water-related diseases...........................................................116 Mozambique: A pilot project in the voluntary carbon market......243Diarrhoea in children in Africa.................................................117 Action and commitment at regional and national levels...........245Climate change impacts on human security.............................118 Sustainable land management in Burkina Faso and Ethiopia.......245Sea level rise.........................................................................119 The land rights challenge in Mozambique...............................246Ocean acidification................................................................119 Recognizing a human right to water can promoteThe Deepwater Horizon oil spill...............................................121 fairer access .....................................................................247The impacts of drought on hydropower production..................122 Butterfly farming in Arabuko Forest Reserve............................248Integrated water management................................................122 Mapping landscapes in souther Cameroon.............................249Competition and conflict .......................................................125 Rainwater harvesting in Ethiopia............................................249 Contents xiii
  12. 12. Enhancing traditional water harvesting practices in Payment for ecosystem services (PES) in support of Burkina Faso.....................................................................250 existing policies................................................................332 Mangrove restoration in Mauritius..........................................251 Key facts about land conditions in Latin America and Social learning and knowledge in community-based the Caribbean....................................................................333 adaptation strategies.........................................................252 Key facts on land degradation in Latin America and Managing acid mine drainage in the Olifants catchment............252 the Caribbean....................................................................336 Mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in Chapter 10: Asia and the Pacific the Caribbean....................................................................337 Selected climate change goal: United Nations Framework Brazil’s Bolsa Verde................................................................340 Convention on Climate Change Article 3 Paragraphs 1–3........262 Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean.............................341 Selected biodiversity goal: Convention on Biological Diversity Article 1...............................................................263 Chapter 13: North America Selected freshwater goal: Johannesburg Plan of The Quebec and British Columbia carbon taxes.......................354 Implementation Paragraph 26c..........................................263 Ontario: a comprehensive approach to energy........................355 Selected goal for chemicals and waste: Johannesburg Plan Maryland’s Smart Growth programme: financial incentives of Implementation Paragraphs 22 and 23...........................264 and planning.....................................................................361 Selected governance goal: Johannesburg Declaration Canadian land-use reserves in Ontario and British on Sustainable Development Paragraph 5..........................264 Columbia: command and control........................................361 Removing fossil fuel subsidies in Asia and the Pacific.............267 Protection and management of the Great Lakes Basin.......................363 Adaptation policies in the Maldives .......................................268 Texas: a rapid expansion of wind energy.................................368 Pacific islands: locally managed marine areas ........................269 Promoting sustainable use of biodiversity: payment for Chapter 14: West Asia ecosystem services in China and Viet Nam.........................271 Yemen’s integrated water resources management plan.............379 Uzbekistan: improving the capacity of existing reservoirs Leak detection and repair of the distribution system in Central Asia...................................................................273 in Bahrain.........................................................................380 The Yellow River, China: balancing environmental and Irrigation management in Saudi Arabia...................................381 human needs through quotas and pricing reform ...............274 Protection and rehabilitation of rangelands in Syria................383 Phase-out of ozone-depleting substances in India...................275 Sustainable agricultural development in Bahrain...................... 383 Ship breaking in South Asia: implementing a new Integrated agricultural management in Al-Karak, Jordan..........385 international environmental agreement..............................277 Energy conservation in buildings in Kuwait.............................387 Low-carbon green growth in the Republic of Korea Solar water heaters in Jordan and the Occupied and China..........................................................................278 Palestinian Territories........................................................389 Participation in the management of natural resources Coastal and Area Management Programme (CAMP) in India and Nepal.............................................................279 in Lebanon........................................................................392 Marawah Biosphere Reserve, Abu Dhabi, United Chapter 11: Europe Arab Emirates ...................................................................393 Greenhouse gas reduction pledges for the post-2012 period.......295 Fish stock enhancement in Bahrain.........................................394 The German Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff scheme..............298 The Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Transferring innovative climate insurance schemes ................298 Environment (CAMRE)........................................................395 Stockholm’s air quality management policies in a low-emission zone.............................................................302 Chapter 16: Scenarios and Sustainability Transformation Integrated Tisza River Basin Management Plan........................303 A possible vision of the world on a path towards Nitrogen accounting in Denmark ............................................304 sustainability in 2050........................................................425 Water metering in Armenia ....................................................305 Integrated simulation of the 2050 targets for climate, Extended producer responsibility...........................................306 food and land....................................................................434 Ukraine’s national ecological network ....................................310 The sustainable world scenario for water withdrawals.............437 Conserving high nature-value farmland in Portugal..................311 Integrated global analysis of sustainability scenarios..............443 India’s National Watershed Development Project for Chapter 12: Latin America and the Caribbean Rainfed Areas (NDWPRA) – adaptive governance Environmental governance.....................................................320 and policy-making at the sub-national level........................450 Levels of governance in Latin America and the Caribbean........320 Threats to biodiversity in Latin America and the Caribbean........329 Chapter 17: Global Responses Key features of the ecosystem approach to biodiversity Diffusion of policy tools worldwide – the case of strategic management.....................................................................331 environmental assessment................................................465xiv Contents
  13. 13. Identifying financial flows for environmental response............466 Technology Mechanism at the UNFCCC....................................476International aid for the environment......................................468 Response option 4: Supporting technological innovationResponse option 1: Framing environmental goals in the and development..............................................................477 context of sustainable development and monitoring Response option 5: Strengthening rights-based approaches outcomes..........................................................................471 and access to environmental justice...................................479Response option 2: Enhancing the effectiveness of Social learning ......................................................................480 global institutions.............................................................473 Cities and climate action........................................................481Response option 3: Investing in enhanced capacities Response option 6: Deepening and broadening for addressing environmental change ................................475 stakeholder engagement...................................................482 Contents xv
  14. 14. Foreword Anyone wishing to understand the pace and scale of environmental change will find UNEP’s flagship assessment report – Global Environment Outlook-5: Environment for the future we want – compelling reading. Equally, anyone seeking a paradigm shift that can bring us closer to a truly sustainable world will find this latest edition of the GEO series rich in opportunities and policy options. GEO-5 is designed to be the most comprehensive, impartial and in-depth assessment of its kind. It reflects the collective body of recent scientific knowledge, drawing on the work of leading experts, partner institutions and the vast body of research undertaken within and beyond the United Nations system. The launch of GEO-5 coincides with the final stages of preparation for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), taking place two decades after the Rio Earth Summit that set the agenda for contemporary thinking about sustainable development. The report underlines the reasons why world leaders need to show decisive leadership in Rio and beyond. It highlights the state, trends and trajectories of the planet and its people, and showcases more than 100 initiatives, projects and policies from across the globe that are pioneering positive environmental change. In a world with a growing population, glaring inequality and a precarious environmental base, it is imperative that Governments collaborate to balance the economic, social and BAN Ki-moon environmental strands of sustainable development. GEO-5 highlights not just the perils of delaying action, but the options Secretary General of the United Nations that exist to transform sustainable development from theory United Nations Headquarters, New York to reality. I commend GEO-5 to all who wish to invest in this generational opportunity to create the future we want. May 2012xvi Foreword
  15. 15. PrefaceSince the days of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese,through the Islamic Golden Age and the Renaissance,philosophers and scientists have sought to make sense of theforces and processes of the natural world and humanity’s placewithin them. In the past half century or so, this endeavour hasaccelerated as concerns over the impacts of industrializationhave emerged and more recently been fuelled by a growingrealization that people – once marginal influencers ofenvironmental change – are now its principal drivers, frombiodiversity loss to climate change.The Global Environment Outlook: Environment for the future wewant (GEO-5) is part of this broad sweep of history, and is a majorcontribution to the public understanding of the way ecosystemsand the atmosphere are responding to patterns of unprecedentedconsumption and production – patterns taking place on a planet of7 billion people, rising to more than 9 billion by 2050. Its findingson the state of the planet, globally and regionally, are unsurprisinglysobering and cause for profound concern – they should serve asa reminder to world leaders and delegates attending the Rio+20Summit in June as to why they are there.Bridging the science-policy interface remains problematic – themes for Rio+20. The summit is about taking stock andtranslating the findings of science into environmental law and renewing commitments, but it is also about the integration ofpolicy making has been a challenge stretching back through Rio scientific findings in evidence-based policy making and the1992 to the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment re-engagement of society in endeavours to move the world onof 1972. Encouragingly, a growing scientific understanding and to a sustainable path.technological progress have not fallen on deaf ears; they haveinspired a myriad of treaties and agreements covering such When nations take stock of sustainable development 20 yearsissues as the trade in endangered species, the protection of the after the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, the limited achievements andozone layer, climate change, biodiversity loss and the banning of endemic knowledge divide between North and South should bepersistent organic pollutants. high on the agenda.GEO-5 adds new dimensions to the discourse through its In summary, science must underpin policy making, but as fiveassessment of progress towards meeting internationally agreed GEO assessments and reports have shown, it is not enough.goals and identifying gaps in their achievement. Out of 90 goals Realizing and implementing science-based policies is where theand objectives assessed, significant progress could only be shown real gap resides, and this can be bridged not by more satellitefor four. Of equal concern, progress could not be appraised for 14 observations, field monitoring, computations and scenariogoals and objectives simply because data were lacking. modeling but by courage, decisiveness and political leadership that matches the reality that GEO-5 confirms.Another GEO-5 innovation is that it highlights a regional selectionof more than a hundred policies and transformational actionsthat have been tried and tested successfully in countries andcommunities around the world. These policy options give decisionmakers tools that could be adapted to their own settings. Achim SteinerSuch policy options are part of a broad sweep of emerging worktermed the Green Economy, which in the context of sustainable United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Directordevelopment and poverty eradication is one of the two major United Nations Environment Programme Preface xvii
  16. 16. Introduction THE EARTH SYSTEM CONTEXT scientific and conservation communities. As an initial step, The Earth System provides the basis for all human societies the conference established UNEP to catalyse international and their economic activities. People need clean air to breathe, and UN-wide environmental action. Twenty years on, the safe water to drink, healthy food to eat, energy to produce and United Nations Conference on Environment and Development transport goods, and natural resources that provide the raw in Rio de Janeiro approved Agenda 21, a blueprint for the materials for all these services. However, the 7 billion humans introduction of sustainable development, a concept first alive today are collectively exploiting the Earth’s resources at articulated as “satisfying the needs of the present generation accelerating rates and intensities that surpass the capacity of its without compromising the chance for future generations to systems to absorb wastes and neutralize the adverse effects on satisfy theirs” in the World Commission on Environment and the environment. In fact, the depletion or degradation of several Development 1987 report Our Common Future. In the second key resources has already constrained conventional development decade of the new century, Agenda 21 remains a vibrant and in some parts of the world. relevant guide with many of its precepts yet to be applied, particularly in regard to consumption. Within the Earth System – which acts as a single, self-regulating system comprised of physical, chemical, biological and human The 2000 Millennium Summit, which brought world leaders components – the effects of human activities can be detected together to discuss the role of the United Nations at the turn of at a planetary scale (Chapter 7). These have led scientists to the 21st century, produced eight Millennium Development Goals define a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, based on (MDGs) to make up for shortcomings that resulted from a focus evidence that atmospheric, geological, hydrological, biological on economic objectives while international development stalled. and other Earth System processes are being altered by human The MDGs address the integration of sustainable development activity. The most readily recognized changes include a rise in principles into country policies and programmes and aim to global temperatures and sea levels, and ocean acidification, all reverse the impoverishment of human and environmental associated with the increase in emissions of greenhouse gases, resources, while setting time-bound targets and establishing especially carbon dioxide and methane (Chapters 2 and 4). Other metrics. MDG 7, which specifically addresses the environment, set human-induced changes include extensive deforestation and targets to make significant reductions in the rate of biodiversity land clearance for agriculture and urbanization, causing species loss by 2010, to halve the proportion of the population without extinctions as natural habitats are destroyed (Chapters 3 and 5). sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015, and to achieve a significant improvement in the lives of at While humans have long been aware of the effects of their least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020. activities on the local environment, only in the last few decades has it become apparent that these activities can As understanding has developed about the relationship between cumulatively affect the global environment (Chapters 1–7). In human well-being and environmental change, so have the the past, anthropogenic pressures on natural resources were attempts to make it relevant for policy makers. The dependence less pervasive and the Earth’s atmosphere, land and water of social development and economic activity on environmental could carry the load of human consumption and production. services and stability is increasingly understood. An economy However, in the second half of the 20th century the effects of functions within a society, or within and between societies, using many diverse local changes compounded at accelerating rates natural and human resources to produce marketable goods and to produce global consequences. Globalization allows goods services. At the same time, societies survive and thrive within the to be produced under circumstances that consumers would environment determined by the physical limits of atmosphere, refuse to tolerate in their own community, and permits waste land, water, biodiversity and other material resources. to be exported out of sight, enabling people to ignore both its magnitude and its impacts. However, just as waste has – literally Interacting environmental, social and economic forces produce – reached the ends of the Earth, environmental concerns have a complex system that has been the focus of substantial become globalized as well (Chapter 1). research, but it is only in the last two decades that information and communication technologies have enabled researchers These threats to the Earth System have led the science to model and explore the intricate complexities of the whole community and policy makers to work together more closely to Earth System. meet the challenge in a sustainable and collaborative manner. Insights gained from the ability to appreciate the power and THE SCIENCE-POLICY CONTEXT nuance of Earth System complexities demand a new perception At the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human of the responsibilities and accountabilities of nation states Environment, 119 nations came together for the first time towards planetary stewardship (Chapter 16 and 17). This not to discuss serious environmental concerns raised by the only requires the realization of environment and developmentxviii Introduction
  17. 17. goals and targets but also the development of specific goals overarching socio-economic forces that exert varying degrees ofaimed at global sustainability, addressing the needs of the most influence, or pressures, on the environment. Chapter 1 identifiesvulnerable as well as the wants of the more powerful. and describes these major root causes of the environmental challenges and provides some suggestions for policyThe elaboration of such goals requires scientifically credible interventions.indicators and information to guide, track and report progress(Chapter 8). Integrated environmental assessments are tools, within Using the drivers, pressures, state, impacts and responsesa broad and deep toolkit, that have been developed to meet this (DPSIR) analytical framework (Figure 1), the GEO-5 assessmentneed. However, for the most part, policy developments and revisions presents the latest state and trends of the global environmenthave failed to adequately incorporate assessment findings and under the themes of atmosphere, land, water, biodiversityother scientific information into international policy priorities. and, for the first time in the GEO series, chemicals and waste (Chapters 2–6).BACKGROUNDThe main goal of UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook (GEO) is to The DPSIR framework is used to identify and evaluate thekeep governments and stakeholders informed of the state and complex and multidimensional cause-and-effect relationshipstrends of the global environment. Over the past 15 years, the between society and the environment. The DPSIR frameworkGEO reports have examined a wealth of data, information and used in GEO assessments is an extension of the pressure-state-knowledge about the global environment; identified potential response model developed by the OECD and the Europeanpolicy responses; and provided an outlook for the future. The Environment Agency in the mid-1990s. Drivers such as populationassessments, and their consultative and collaborative processes, dynamics, economic demand and unsustainable consumptionhave worked to bridge the gap between science and policy by and production patterns are processes that lead to impacts onturning the best available scientific knowledge into information the environment. These drivers often directly or indirectly resultrelevant for decision makers. in environmental pressures including increased emissions of pollutants and wastes and destructive resource extraction. SuchPrevious GEO reports focused on an analysis of environmental pressures cause changes to the environment with concomitantissues and the identification of responses, using an integrated impacts on both humans and ecosystems. The DPSIR analyticalapproach that provided a comprehensive and multidisciplinary framework helps to identify these processes. Finally, it suggestsoverview across different themes. This fifth Global Environment responses, which can take many forms at many scales fromOutlook (GEO-5) builds on previous reports, continuing to provide community action to international treaties, not only to theanalyses of the state, trends and outlook for, and responses to, underlying drivers, but also to the environmental pressures andenvironmental change. But it also adds new dimensions through their impacts on ecosystems and human health.its assessment of progress towards meeting internationallyagreed goals and identifying gaps in their achievement Chapters 2–6 evaluate whether a selection of internationally(Chapters 2–6), on analysing promising response options that agreed environmental goals are being met for each of thehave emerged in the regions (Chapters 9–15), and presenting themes; Chapter 7 provides a synthesis of the thematicpotential responses for the international community (Chapters information from an Earth System perspective. Part 1 concludes16–17). Furthermore, for the first time, GEO-5 suggests that there with a review of the need to strengthen the collection, analysisshould be a fundamental shift in the way environmental issues and interpretation of data relevant to tracking the state andare analysed, with consideration given to the drivers of global trends of the environment as a fundamental requirement forchange, rather than merely to the pressures on the environment. further research, for monitoring and evaluation, for scientific assessments, and for effective policy making (Chapter 8).Details of the process followed by the UNEP Secretariat indeveloping GEO-5, including the assemblage of more than Part 2 – Policy options from the regions600 scientists guided by governmental, scientific and policy Part 2 of GEO-5, Chapters 9–14, presents an appraisal of policyadvisory bodies, is presented in the GEO-5 Process section. options from the regions that show potential for helping to speed up the accomplishment of internationally agreed goals. This wasSTRUCTURE requested by UNEP’s Governing Council and provides readersThe GEO-5 report is made up of 17 chapters organized into three wishing to implement successful policies with promising avenuesdistinct but linked parts. for exploration.Part 1 – State and trends of the global environment To direct the policy appraisal, multi-stakeholder consultationsTo explore today’s rapidly changing socio-economic conditions, were undertaken in each region to identify priority environmentalChapter 1 examines the drivers of environmental change – the challenges and related internationally agreed goals. Introduction xix
  18. 18. Following a screening exercise, policies or policy clusters that either possible to apply a consistent appraisal methodology due to demonstrated a record of success with respect to their associated the multi-faceted and non-quantifiable elements of some of goals or featured innovative characteristics combined with the internationally agreed goals and the multi-dimensional and promising initial results were retained and analysed in further cross-cutting nature of the co-benefits and trade-offs of the detail. The policy appraisal was based on literature review, policies. Consistency of approach was also hampered by a lack documented case studies and expert opinion. It was not always of underlying data and indicators. Figure 1 The GEO-5 DPSIR conceptual framework Global Regional Local HUMAN SOCIETY Drivers (d) Impacts (i): Material, human and social capital Change in human well-being broadly defined as human freedoms of choice and actions, to achieve, inter alia: Human development • Security • Demographics • Basic material needs • Economic processes (consumption, • Good health production, markets and trade) • Good social relations • Scientific and technological innovation Responses (r) which may result in human development • Distribution pattern processes (inter- or poverty, inequity and human Formal and informal adaptation to, and intra-generational) vulnerability and mitigation of, environmental change • Cultural, social, political and (including restoration) by altering human institutional processes (including activity and development patterns within Demographic, social (institutional) production and service sectors) and between the D, P and I boxes through and material factors determining inter alia: science and technology, policy, human well-being law and institutions. Environmental factors determining human well-being Pressures (p) • Ecological services such as provisioning Human interventions in the environment services (consumptive use), cultural • Land use services (non-consumptive use), • Resource extraction regulating services and supporting • External inputs (fertilizers, chemicals, ENVIRONMENT services (indirect use) irrigation) • Non-ecosystem natural resources such • Emissions (pollutants and waste) as hydrocarbons, minerals and • Modification and movement of renewable energy organisms • Stress, inter alia diseases, pests, State and trends (s) radiation and hazards Natural capital: atmosphere, land, water and biosphere Natural processes: • Solar radiation • Volcanoes Environmental impacts and change • Earthquakes • Climate change and depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer • Biodiversity change • Pollution, degradation and/or depletion of air, water, minerals and land (including desertification) Source: 2012 United Nations Environment Programme DEWA/ GRID-Genevaxx Introduction
  19. 19. The appraisal explored the benefits of the policies and the enabling integrated sustainable world scenario is included in the analysisconditions that facilitated their adoption or success. Other to examine the extent and complexity of policy changes needed tocharacteristics that were analysed include the monitoring and achieve the vision for 2050 (Chapter 16).tracking of environmental, economic or social outcomes; cross-cutting effects on other priority themes and internationally agreed Chapters 16 and 17 review the state of knowledge of how publicgoals; and the potential for their application in new contexts. institutions, the private sector and civil society could generate effective and efficient responses to environmental change. WhileEach region identified policy responses that were effective and many responses at national and regional levels have successfullypotentially suitable for replication and/or adoption in other put societies on trajectories that are beginning to address some ofcountries. Some highly promising approaches featured in the these challenges, the analysis confirms that global environmentalregional chapters are worthy of closer analysis and possible change cannot be addressed successfully by any single approach.testing by governments. GEO-5 concludes by identifying action to undertake at the globalThe regional summary at the end of Part 2 (Chapter 15) presents level, combined with relevant national applications wherean overview of the priority environmental challenges selected appropriate, to enable the adoption of truly transformativeby the regions; a discussion on commonalities, challenges, and policies – as well as the legal, institutional and policy frameworksopportunities; and a summary of the policy options. required to make them successful. GEO-5 will provide the reader not only with an understanding of the complexity of the threatsPart 3 – Opportunities for a global response humanity faces, but possible policy solutions and transformativeThe final part of GEO-5 begins with an analysis of the type of actions pathways to a sustainable future.required to reach a sustainable world. It first reviews existingenvironmental treaties and internationally agreed goals to construct The GEO-5 process contributes to UNEP’s Mission of providinga possible vision for 2050 with specific goals and targets. Next, leadership and encouraging partnership in caring for theexisting scenario studies are reviewed in the context of two possible environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations andcategories: conventional world scenarios that depict possible peoples to improve their quality of life without compromisingdevelopment if present trends continue and, second, global that of future generations. To facilitate its development the Earthscenarios that aim to achieve a sustainable world. The analysis that was divided into regions which largely reflect the concerns andfollows identifies a range of measures that could enable the world remits of the six UNEP’s Regional Offices, and allowed them toto reach the sustainable development targets identified by GEO-5. provide regional support to the working teams preparing GEO-5.Achieving these targets, however, requires radical departure from A full breakdown of the regions, sub-regions and their respectivecurrent trends. To account for the interactions of policies across nation states can be found on the Environmental Data Explorersectors in the dense and interlinked system of global activities, an (formerly the GEO Data Portal), at www.unep.org/geo/data Figure 2 UNEP regions Europe North America Asia and the Pacific West Latin America Asia and the Africa Caribbean Source: 2012 United Nations Environment Programme DEWA/GRID-Geneva Introduction xxi
  20. 20. Part 1: State and Trends of theEnvironment Chapter 1: Drivers Chapter 2: Atmosphere Chapter 3: Land Chapter 4: Water Chapter 5: Biodiversity Chapter 6: Chemicals and Waste Chapter 7: An Earth System Perspective Chapter 8: Review of Data Needs
  21. 21. “As we watch the sun go down, evening after evening, through the smog acrossthe poisoned waters of our native Earth, we must ask ourselves seriouslywhether we really wish some future universal historian on another planet to sayabout us: ‘With all their genius and with all their skill, they ran out of foresightand air and food and water and ideas’”U Thant, UN Secretary General, addressing 7th Session of the General Assembly,New York, 1970
  22. 22. C H A P T E R 1 Drivers© samxmeg/iStock Coordinating lead authors: Marc A. Levy and Alexandra C. Morel Lead authors: Susana B. Adamo, Jane Barr, Catherine P. McMullen, Thomas Dietz, David López-Carr and Eugene A. Rosa Contributing authors: Alec Crawford, Elizabeth R. Desombre, Matthew Gluschankoff, Konstadinos Goulias, Jason Jabbour, Yeonjoo Kim, David Laborde Debucquet, Ana Rosa Moreno, Siwa Msangi, Matthew Paterson, Batimaa Punsalmaa, Ray Tomalty and Craig Townsend Principal scientific reviewer: Shobhakar Dhakal Chapter coordinator: Jason Jabbour Drivers 3
  23. 23. Main Messages The scale, spread and rate of change of global action. Three-quarters of the agricultural land in the drivers are without precedent. Burgeoning United States is dedicated to just eight commodity populations and growing economies are pushing crops: maize, wheat, cotton, soybeans, rice, barley, environmental systems to destabilizing limits. The oats and sorghum. This dominance is reinforced by idea that the perturbation of a complex ecological a set of interlocking structural constraints including system can trigger sudden feedbacks is not new: high levels of producer subsidies, dietary preferences, significant scientific research has explored thresholds and a large industrialized food processing and tipping points that the planetary system may economy. For example, of the top 20 sources of face if humanity does not control carbon emissions. industrial pollution in the United States, eight are Understanding feedbacks from the perspective slaughterhouses, but even with well-understood of drivers reveals that many of them interact in environmental and health problems associated with unpredictable ways. Generally, the rates of change in this food system, its highly entrenched nature makes these drivers are not monitored or managed, and so it it extremely difficult to modify. is not possible to predict or even perceive dangerous thresholds as they approach. Critically, the bulk of Although reducing the drivers of environmental research has been on understanding the effects of change directly may appear politically difficult, it drivers on ecosystems, not on the effects of changed is possible to accomplish some environmental co- ecosystems on the drivers – the feedback loop. benefits by targeting more expedient objectives, such as international goals on human well-being. Patterns of globalization – links between trade, Education is recognized as a basic human right, finance, technology and communication – have made included in the Universal Declaration of Human it possible for trends in drivers to generate intense Rights. Achieving universal primary education is pressures in concentrated parts of the world very Goal 2 of the Millennium Development Goals, and it quickly. There has been a rapid rise in the production is linked to the improvement of gender equality and of biomass-based fuels for transport – from maize, women’s empowerment. Together with access to sugar cane, palm oil and rapeseed. In the early years reproductive health, education is a key determinant of the 21st century, biodiesel became more widely of fertility levels. Greater investment in education available, with production growing at around 60 per has been correlated with declining fertility, rising cent per year, reaching nearly 13 million tonnes of incomes and increasing longevity, and also with an oil equivalent in 2009. However, recent information educated citizenry able to express concern about raises concerns about the direct environmental environmental matters. and social consequences of large-scale biofuel production. These complex issues include, but are Surveillance and monitoring get results. Even where not limited to, land clearance and conversion, the policy responses are not immediately possible, introduction of potentially invasive species, the awareness of the importance of drivers can justify overuse of water, effects on the global food market, increased efforts at surveillance and monitoring. and the purchase or leasing of land by foreign Many of the most important drivers identified in investors to produce food and biofuels, typically in this chapter are currently not subject to systematic developing and sometimes semi-arid countries. monitoring, their impacts even less so. The evidence, then, is compelling for the need to enhance the Drivers typically have high inertia and path understanding and monitoring of drivers and their dependencies, which can act as barriers to effective links with the environment.4 Part 1: State and Trends4 Part 1: State and Trends

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