UNEP Live Knowledge Platform Launched to Fill Gaps Between Data Providers and Consumers Thu, Jan 16, 2014

UNEP Live, a cutting-edge, dynamic new platform to collect, process and share the world's best environmental science and research, was launched today in Geneva.

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Geneva, 16 January 2014 - UNEP Live, a cutting-edge, dynamic new platform to collect, process and share the world's best environmental science and research, was launched today in Geneva.

UNEP Live will provide data access to both the public and policy makers using distributed networks, cloud computing, big data and improved search functions.

The platform was launched as more than 700 attendees representing the environmental, space, telecommunications and insurance communities gathered at the Tenth Plenary Session of the Group on Earth Observations and the Geneva Ministerial Summit (GEO-X).

Throughout the week, participants discussed the value of earth observation for better understanding and improving human wellbeing.

One of the clear themes that emerged from the meeting was that significant gaps remain in the collection, analysis and dissemination of environmental data.

From mapping natural capital to forecasting hydropower to intelligent energy and the sustainable use of materials, strong data presently exist in a wide variety of environmental arenas.

However, participants agreed that there is a need to translate those data into good political and socio-economic decisions that will contribute to the transition to an inclusive green economy.

Indeed, policy making "in the dark" - under high levels of uncertainty and without concrete data - carries high risks and transactional costs which need to be minimized. End users must be able to access data in a meaningful way.

To that end, UNEP Live will fill gaps between data providers and consumers.

It will focus on the latest information and emerging issues. Through the platform's apps, multimedia content and digital publishing tools, users will have access to data from UNEP, national and regional resources and other knowledge and data providers.

Moreover, through these tools and resources, UNEP Live will extend the knowledge base for global environmental policy-making and evidence-based analysis.

It will also support the streamlining of national monitoring, reporting and verification of data for global and regional environmental goals, including the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Among the goals of UNEP Live is to provide full and open access to information to people around the world.

Public access to data is a fundamental element in the transformation to a vibrant green economy.

Better access allows citizens to better understand - and even participate in the collection of - data on environmental changes.

Indeed, the role of the public in "citizen science", or the crowd-sourcing of data, is one of the most cutting-edge and exciting tools emerging in the global research arena.

It provides people a greater voice in policy development and monitoring, which is crucial to an inclusive green economy.

Through the UNEP Live initiative, UNEP will work with a number of global partners (UN-DESA - on implementing frameworks for environmental data and statistics; UN Stats Division - in coordinating support to countries to improve access to information; FAO and WHO on integrated indicators for the sustainable development goals; as well as UN regional offices) to advise on which environmental data sets should be prioritized for collection and sharing with the public.

To visit UNEP Live: www.unep.org/uneplive

For more information, contact: UNEP News Desk, unepnewsdesk@unep.org

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