Abu Dhabi Summit to Catalyse Global Support for Enhanced Environmental Decision Making in Emerging Economies

Abu Dhabi, June 07, 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, 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 the United Nations Environment Programme (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, 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.”