Global Environment Outlook 5

Authors: UN Environment

GEO5_cover_large.jpgThe Global Environment Outlook: Environment for the future we want (GEO-5) is part of this broad sweep of history, and is a major contribution to the public understanding of the way ecosystems and the atmosphere are responding to patterns of unprecedented consumption and production – patterns taking place on a planet of 7 billion people, rising to more than 9 billion by 2050. Its findings on the state of the planet, globally and regionally, are unsurprisingly sobering and cause for profound concern – they should serve as a reminder to world leaders and delegates attending the Rio+20 Summit in June as to why they are there.

Bridging the science-policy interface remains problematic – translating the findings of science into environmental law and policy making has been a challenge stretching back through Rio 1992 to the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment of 1972. Encouragingly, a growing scientific understanding and technological progress have not fallen on deaf ears; they have inspired a myriad of treaties and agreements covering such issues as the trade in endangered species, the protection of the ozone layer, climate change, biodiversity loss and the banning of persistent organic pollutants.