Table 211 GEO Year Book 2003 indicators

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Natural disasters

Forests Biodiversity

Coastal and marine areas


Global environmental issues


Climate change

Stratospheric ozone depletion

Human vulnerability to extreme natural events


Species loss

Habitat loss

Unsustainable use of living marine resources

Sustainable water use

Access to improved water supply and sanitation

International environmental governance


Energy use per US$1,000 GDP Total carbon dioxide emissions Total carbon dioxide emissions per capita Glacier mass balance

Consumption of chlorofluorocarbons

Number of people killed Number of people affected

Proportion of land area covered by forest

Number of threatened animal species Number of threatened plant species

Ratio of area protected to maintain biological diversity to surface area

Catch of living marine resources

Per capita water use

Water use as a percentage of quantity of annual renewable water resources

Population with access to improved water supply

Population with access to improved sanitation

Number of parties to multilateral environmental agreements substantial lack of environmental data and information, which limits our ability to monitor developments and adequately show trends. The data gap will persist for some time and must be addressed through improved environmental monitoring, data collection, and compilation of indicators and indices at different geographic scales.

Thus, the use of indicators such as the GEO core set should be seen as a process of continuous development, not just a one-time exercise. A regular assessment of the indicators used, their relevance for and impact on policymakers and the wider public, and their continuous adjustment and updating to reflect emerging issues, better data, and new challenges and insights must be implemented in parallel.

Figure 21.4. Mean biological oxygen demand in surface waters by selected region, 1979—1990 and 1991—1999. Note: Data for West Asia not available (courtesy of the GEO Data Portal, compiled from UNEP/GEMS-Water 2004).
Figure 21.5. Concentrations of SO2 in the air in selected cities, 1985-2000 (courtesy of the GEO Data Portal, compiled from OECD Environmental Data Compendium 2002).

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