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Sustainable Development Policy and Practice
Fifth Global Environment Outlook report (GEO-5): Intergovernmental Meeting on the GEO-5 Summary for Policy Makers

29-31 January 2012 | Gwangju, Republic of Korea


The Intergovernmental Meeting on the Fifth Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-5) Summary for Policy Makers (SPM) took place in Gwangju City, Republic of Korea, from Sunday, 29 to Tuesday, 31 January 2012. Participants from 62 countries, 14 experts and two observers took part in the meeting to finalize the draft text of the SPM.

The GEO is a series of reports that informs environmental decision-making and endeavors to facilitate interaction between science and policy through the provision of information to support environmental management and policy development.

GEO-5 aims to, inter alia, provide a scientific analysis of selected environmental challenges and the solutions available to address them, including their economic, environmental and social costs and benefits. It is also intended to have a strong regional emphasis.

Over the course of the three days, delegates negotiated the draft text of the SPM, which comprised of six sections: critical thresholds; evidence-based policy making requires more, reliable data; environmental deterioration demonstrates internationally agreed goals have only been partially achieved; shifting the policy focus; scaling up promising policies, practices from the regions; and innovative responses – an opportunity for cooperation. Under these sections, the topics debated ranged from the effect continued environmental deterioration has had for achieving internationally agreed goals such as the Millennium Development Goals, biodiversity targets and others, regional policy assessments, and steps that need to be taken to ensure success in the future. Lively debate on these issues resulted in late night sessions, but ultimately the three days of hard work endorsed the draft SPM, which will be forwarded to the twelfth Special Session of the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Governing Council (GC) for consideration and adoption. More information...

Mt. Mudeung Jusangjeollidae
Mt. Mudeung Jusangjeollidae (photo courtesy of the Government of the Republick of Korea.)
Related Links
UNEP resources
*Meeting website
*Meeting provisional annotated agenda
*Background note
*GEO website
*Final Evaluation of GEO-5: Summary of Recommendations
*Final Statement from the GEO-5 Intergovernmental and Multistakeholder Consultation, March 2010

IISD RS resources
*UNEP GEO-5 Regional Consultations, 16-17, 20-21, and 23-24 September 2010, Bangkok, Thailand; Nairobi, Kenya; and Geneva, Switzerland
*IISD RS listservers and other information services
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - News and information on the actions of international organizations in responding to the problem of global climate change
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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