Science

Science is knowledge or a system of knowledge about the physical world and its phenomena. Many environmental threats would be unknown without scientific research or discovered too late for the development of appropriate policies.

Environmental policy rests on a foundation of scientific research. However, the process of scientific research is not always geared to the needs of policymaking. Science seeks to prove or disprove hypotheses as a strategy for reaching enduring answers. Policy is limited in time and location: decisions must be made at a given time for a specific jurisdiction. Policymakers seek the best possible answers to issues because there is a constituency that requires an answer. Effective environmental policy requires facts derived from science as well as principles and goals derived from policy analysis. However, simply providing more scientific information does not create better policy. Scientists and policymakers often speak two different languages. An effective science-policy interface is often needed to negotiate and mediate between science and policy so that the evidence scientists provide is understandable to policymakers and other stakeholders.

Events and Articles

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4th Global Session of the of the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment (UN-SPBF 2022)

Faced with the triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, participants addressed a range of issues dealing with multilateralism, including climate change, and future economic frameworks, before turning to issues that affect the daily fabric of our lives—technology, fashion, and supply chains. Leaders also shared share their vision for Stockholm+100.
Event 31 May 2022 - 4 June 2022

UNEA-5.2, OECPR-5.2 and [email protected]

Member States adopted 14 resolutions, including to negotiate an international treaty to address plastic pollution and establish a science-policy panel to contribute further to the sound management of chemicals and waste and to prevent pollution, while celebrating the 50th birthday of the United Nations Environment Programme.
Event 21 February 2022 - 4 March 2022

UN Science-Policy-Business Forum on the Environment (2021)

Delegates from the private sector, civil society, and government met to address issues such as artificial intelligence for environmental action, pollution prevention and management, and integrated solutions for low-carbon, resource-efficient, inclusive societies. The outcomes will inform discussions at UNEA-5.
Event 18 February 2021 - 20 February 2021

52nd Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-52)

During the week-long meeting, participants agreed on an outline for the Synthesis Report of the Sixth Assessment Report, engaged in detailed consideration of the organization of future work in light of the Global Stocktake (GST) under the Paris Agreement, and also adopted the Gender Policy and Implementation Plan.
Event 24 February 2020 - 28 February 2020

23rd Meeting of the CBD Subsidiary Body on Scientific, Technical, and Technological Advice (SBSTTA 23) and 11th Meeting of the Ad Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Article 8(j) and Related Provisions (WG8J 11)

Delegates focused on the role of indigenous peoples and local communities and addressed links between nature and culture for the development of the post-2020 framework. Delegates also addressed the scientific and technical base of the post-2020 framework.
Event 20 November 2019 - 22 November 2019