Europe`s environment — An assessment of assessments


Courtesy of European Environment Agency (EEA)

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has produced four pan-European 'state of Europe's environment' reports in support of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) 'Environment for Europe' process (1). Over time, and in conjunction with a host of other reports (including the additional four five-yearly state and outlook reports produced by the EEA for its geographical area (2)), this has provided a comprehensive overview of environmental challenges across the region.

To complement this, and in support of the 2011 'Environment for Europe' Ministerial Conference in Astana, EEA has prepared Europe's environment — An Assessment of Assessments (EE-AoA). This assessment of assessments focuses on the two themes of the Astana Conference: water and related ecosystems, and green economy.

An assessment of assessments process reviews and critically analyses the existing assessment landscape across the pan-European region. It thus provides a basis to identify strengths of and gaps in existing assessments and their findings, their regional specificities, and the ways in which they can be improved to make them more policy‑relevant.

The methodological basis for an assessment of assessments was developed during the United Nations Marine Assessment of Assessments commissioned by the United Nations General Assembly in 2009. The present report demonstrates the robustness and viability of extending an assessment of assessments process to a broader set of thematic and geographic perspectives.
For the assessment of assessments presented here, almost 1 000 environmental assessment reports were identified and recorded in a dedicated virtual library, with the support of experts across 53 UNECE countries and international organisations. More than half of these publications have been reviewed in detail — focusing on water and related ecosystems, and green economy (3).

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