Berlin, 30.04.2013

The core objective of this research initiative is to enhance the understanding of global environmental assessment processes, in order to develop options for improving future practices. The initiative will focus on UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook (GEO) flagship assessment series, and in particular its most recent GEO-5 assessment: Environment for the Future we want released at the Earth Summit at Rio in 2012.
The research initiative aims at establishing a deeper understanding of the foundation, chronology and evolution of global environmental assessments, and how the policy orientation of integrated assessments has shifted in recent years. It will analyze the objectives, procedures,methods, and key influences of such assessments on policy processes and the scientific community. It will also investigate major obstacles and tradeoffs arising in these complex and large-scale social learning processes. This will help to draw lessons for future assessments, taking into account the changing political context. In view of the increasing demand for policy options and solution-orientated responses that can help attain the many environmental goals that have been established at the international and domestic level, a special focus will be on strengthening the procedural and methodological options for carrying out and integrating polic appraisals through global environmental assessments.
“Developing a better understanding of the contexts, the challenges, and the tools that researchers and stakeholders have developed over time to realize the substantial potential of assessments in informing public policies is timely in view of the challenges societies are facing in the years to come”, says Ottmar Edenhofer, Director of MCC. “We highly appreciate the opportunity to collaborate with UNEP on these important questions.”
Further information:
wallenfels (at)


Lothar Kuhn
Leiter Bereich Kommunikation
+49 201 24522-36