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Eye on Earth Brings Access to Environmental Data for Emerging Economies
07/ 06/ 2011

Eye on Earth Brings Access to Environmental Data for Emerging EconomiesAbu Dhabi, 7 June 2011 - Abu Dhabi will host the first Eye on Earth Summit on December 12-15 2011, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The summit will focus on the issue of greater access to environmental and societal data.

Over the past ten years, Abu Dhabi has undertaken to develop thought and practice leadership in the field of environmental data. In 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Abu Dhabi launched, under the guidance and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) designed to help the world's emerging economies acquire and best use environmental information.

Despite progress, much remains to be done: missing, inaccessible or hidden data cannot contribute to decision-making. Flawed judgments may result, with serious consequences. Abu Dhabi's Eye on Earth aims to find the solutions that will fill those gaps, helping the world move towards a more sustainable future based on informed policy-making.

Eye on Earth will address this challenge by convening world leaders, the environmental and societal information networking movement and others to identify and celebrate 'best-impact'; those data initiatives from around the globe delivering greatest benefit,; reach a consensus on the key issues regarding greater data accessibility and encourage stakeholders to collaborate to strengthen existing initiatives and, where necessary, to launch new ones.

The Summit will be hosted by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi, facilitated by the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and held in partnership with UNEP. An Eye on Earth Exhibition will showcase the latest developments in environmental information and technology.

"Across the world, sharing information has always been crucial to good decision-making. Ensuring that environmental and societal data is accessible to all those who need it whether scientists, communities, governments or thought-leaders, is essential to moving the world towards a future founded on informed policy-making. This is especially the case in emerging economies and to ensure sustainable development patterns. I am very proud that EAD will be hosting this summit," said H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General of EAD.

Welcoming the announcement of the Summit, Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNEP said: "In the run-up to the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Eye on Earth presents a timely opportunity to identify practical measures to bridge the environmental knowledge gap and deliver the information and data needed to support a transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient global Green Economy."

For more information, please visit

About Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD)
The Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) was established in 1996 to preserve Abu Dhabi's natural heritage, protect our future, and raise awareness about environmental issues. EAD is Abu Dhabi's environmental regulator and advises the government on environmental policy. It works to create sustainable communities, and protect and conserve wildlife and natural resources. EAD also works to ensure integrated and sustainable water resources management, to ensure clean air and minimise climate change and its impacts. For more information, visit

About Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI)
Conceived by the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and launched by the Abu Dhabi Government in 2002, under the guidance and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, AGEDI provides user-friendly access to high-quality environmental information, through a variety of information products. While EAD champions AGEDI locally, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) champions it regionally and globally. AGEDI's objectives include; to enhance environmental data collection and assessment, to increase data capacities for local, national, regional, and global environmental decision making, to ensure sustainable development planning is based on quality, timely, useable, and updated data and information, to provide accessibility of data and information to all stakeholders, to enhance national and international mechanisms of information processing and exchange and to enhance national capacities in information handling and communications. For more information, visit

About United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
UNEP is the designated authority of the United Nations system in environmental issues at the global and regional level. UNEP's mission is 'to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations'. UNEP is headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information, visit

For media enquiries, please contact:

Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), Sobhia Al Masry, Media Specialist, EAD Press Office, Tel: +9712 6934-637, Mobile: +97150 442-5096, Email:
United Nations Environment Programme, Contact: Nick Nuttall, UNEP Spokesperson / Head of Media, Tel: +254 733 632755, Email:
Adel Abdel-Kader, UNEP, Regional Coordinator, West Asia, on Tel. +973-17812785, Mobile +973-36044899 or E-mail:
Mia Turner, UNEP Newsdesk on Tel. +254 20 7625211, Mobile +254 710620495 or E-mail: or

Further Resources
Eye on Earth Summit
About Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI)
Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD)