Global Environment Outlook 6 Regional assessments

Authors: UN Environment

The GEO regional assessments provide detailed analysis of regional environmental challenges as well as key findings and policy messages for each of the 6 UNEP regions. These are important for policy makers working in the regions to provide solid evidence and policy options which will help tackle environmental issues faced in the regions. They are presented here with links to the underlying assessments.

Regional Assessment for Africa

GEO6-Africa_cover_large.jpgThe GEO 6 regional assessment recognizes Africa’s rich natural capital - the diversity of soil, geology, biodiversity, water,landscapes and habitats- which if wisely managed, hold the promise to lead the region to a future where ecosystem integrity,as well as human health and well-being are continuously enhanced. It also observes that the economic growth of Africa hingeson the sustainable management of its natural capital that involves reconciling wise stewardship with human development fortoday’s population and future generations. This requires both the protection and valuation of these natural assets, as well as effectively communicating their importance.

 

Africa’s natural capital is challenged by competing uses, illegal off-take, weak resource management practices, climate change and pollution. This calls for forward looking, flexible, inclusive and integrated approaches in the formulation and implementation of policies. Africa has an opportunity to use its large young population to drive its growth. To that end, low-carbon, climate-resilient choices can develop its infrastructure, accelerate industrialization, increase energy and food production, and promote sustainable natural resource governance.

Regional Assessment for Asia and the Pacific

GEO6-AP_cover_large.jpgThe Asia and the Pacific region has seen rapid economic growth, urbanization and lifestyle changes that are unprecedented. Scientific analysis, however, shows the current approach to development in the region inflicts a significant cost on health and the environment. Soon, development will start to undermine itself. The region is also highly vulnerable to climate change; unchecked, its adverse effects can reverse the recent gains in development.

The region has made significant commitments to mitigate climate change. Almost all the countries submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) targets to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change before the Paris Conference. In fact, there is optimism that larger economies will go further than their INDCs, taking additional transformative measures to lower greenhouse gas emissions and develop resource-efficient

Regional Assessment for Latin America and the Caribbean

GEO6-LAC_cover_large.jpgThis regional Global Environment Outlook (GEO) report,the fourth for Latin America and the Caribbean (with the previous GEO regional assessment for LAC published in 2010), places emphasis on identifying some of the most worrying and persistent threats to the region through an environmental lens, but also on the achievements, successstories and opportunities in the region.

There is a clear trend in Latin America and the Caribbean towards addressing pressing issues. These include improving access to water and sanitation, reducing poverty, phasing out ozone-depleting substances and expanding the network of protected areas. However, the region still faces significant environmental challenges characterized by land degradation, biodiversity loss, pollution, vulnerability to climate change, and unsustainable production and consumption patterns.

The governments of Latin America and the Caribbean region have the opportunity to build on existing efforts, and to focus on transformative actions to put the region on the path towards sustainable development. As expressed at the twentieth Meeting of the Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean in March 2016, the rich experience of the region plays a vital role in delivering low-carbon economic growth, resource efficiency and effective ecosystem management.

Regional Assessment for North America

NoRTH aMERICAThe sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) Regional Assessment for North America paints a comprehensive picture of the environmental factors contributing to human health and well-being at the regional level. Backed by a largebodyofrecent,crediblescientificevidence,regional-wide consultations and a robust intergovernmental process, the assessment demonstrates that regional and global multilateral environmental agreements have improved environmental conditions in North America.

The outlook for North America is unfolding in a context of improved environmental conditions. The region has a low environmental burden of disease, rich biodiversity levels and large expanses of natural beauty. Improvements in the last decades have been credited to policies that have sparked technological and behavioural change. Some challenges from interactions across complex systems involving multiple pressures, however, pose risks to human well-being and ecosystems.

North American responses to environmental challenges reflect the diversity, energy and ingenuity of the region. Successes have been achieved largely by focusing on individual sectors and applying a small number of policy instruments. Remaining and emerging new environmental challenges will require further application of proven policy options along with continued innovation.

Regional Assessment for West Asia

GEO6-WestAsia_cover_large.jpgIn this assessment, the UNEP Secretariat and the authorsprovide an objective evaluation and analysis designed tosupport environmental decision making. Expert judgmentis applied to existing knowledge to provide scientificallycredible answers to policy-relevant questions.

Environmental governance is the mechanism through which peace and resilience can be realized in West Asia. Good governance implies that issues such as conflict resolution, food, water and energy are examined in a holistic framework. Economic, social and environmental spheres must be integrated into a multi-sectoral policy design within the goals of sustainable development.

Sustainable growth in the economies of West Asia will enable progress on food security, sustainable water sources, reduced vulnerability to natural and man-made disasters, reduced risks of climate change, permanent energy solutions and conservation of natural resources. The outlook calls for concerted efforts by governments, civil society and the private sector in West Asia to address environmental challenges in the region.

Regional Assessment for the Pan-European Region

The sixth Global Environment Outlook (GEO-6) Assessment for the Pan-European region paints a comprehensive picture of the environmental factors contributing to human health and well-being at the regional level. Backed by a large body of recent, credible scientific evidence, regional-wide consultations and a robust intergovernmental process, the assessment demonstrates that regional and global multilateral environmental agreements have improved environmental conditions in the Pan-European region. It also highlights the complexity of the interlinked environmental, social and economic challenges now confronting decision makers.