UNEP Releases Foresight Report

UNEP20 February 2012: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a report titled the “Foresight Report,” which outlines the findings of UNEP's Foresight Process aimed at identifying and ranking the most pressing emerging environmental issues. The report outlines 21 emerging issues and provides governments, civil society and business with scientific assessments to forge a forward-looking outcome at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

According to UNEP, the Foresight Panel involved 400 international scientists and experts. After reviewing and analyzing emerging issues, the Foresight Process concluded that the most pressing one is the need to align governance to the challenges of global sustainability. The second most pressing issue identified is the need to transform human capacities for the 21st century, and to move towards a green economy. The third most pressing issue is the need to ensure food safety and security for nine billion people.

Other issues highlighted by the Foresight Panel include the need to: reconnect science and policy; catalyze rapid and transformative changes in human behavior towards the environment; develop new insights on water-land interactions; accelerate the implementation of environmentally-friendly renewable energy; integrate biodiversity across the environmental and economic agendas; manage the unintended consequences of climate change mitigation and adaptation; and develop a new approach for minimizing risks of novel technologies and chemicals. [UNEP Press Release] [Publication: UNEP Foresight Report]