Over the past 10 years, UNEP has endeavoured to identify and highlight emerging issues of global concern through the UNEP Year Book series. This new UNEP Frontiers report advances this work, signalling environmental issues and solutions for effective and timely responses. Some issues may emerge as a result of new scientific findings and understanding of interactions between environmental, social and economic systems; others may be persistent issues for which new approaches and technologies have emerged to equip decision-makers and managers with more practical solutions and tools. Some issues may be local, relatively small-scale issues today, with a potential to become an issue of regional or global concern if not addressed early.
The UNEP Frontiers report emphasises the critical relationship between a healthy environment and healthy people, and how human activities often undermine the long-term health and ability of ecosystems to support human well-being. The report provides encouraging examples on how certain issues may be addressed by innovating and rethinking policy interventions, new solutions or adapting existing practices. The UNEP Frontier series will continue to link new science to outcome-oriented policies, and by extension, keep the public informed of the health of the environment and its sustainability.