Activities Assessments GEO GEO-Cities
The GEO-Cities initiative started in 2000 in response to calls by UNEP's Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF), the Initiative for Sustainable Development in the Latin America and Caribbean region (LAC), the LAC Forum of Ministers (WSSD), and the Millennium Development Goals (Goal 7 on Environmental Sustainability).
The initiative extends the Global Environment Outlook assessment and reporting process to the urban level. UNEP and UN-HABITAT have been supporting GEO Cities in several cities of LAC After the GEO-Cities in the LAC region’s success story, the capacity building side of the GEO seeks to implement a similar process at the local level in other regions.
Cities from the Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) region have a particular need for environmental monitoring and improvement as they are "newly independent states", and therefore are a priority area for UNEP capacity building, application of the Bali Strategic Plan and EU policies though not yet members.
The major objectives of the GEO-Cities project are:
1) to establish an integrated environment assessment process
that acknowledges the links between environmental conditions
and human activities;
2) to contribute to local capacity training on integrated assessments on the state of the urban environment;
3) to establish a consensus on the most critical environmental problems in each city and to make it possible to formulate and implement urban strategies and plans to help cities improve urban environmental management; and
4) to promote the creation of networks of institutions in each city assessed.
The pilot cities which have been chosen for the GEO-Cities project in Europe are: Belgrade (Serbia), Donetsk (Ukraine) and Yerevan (Armenia), each one representing one of the sub-regions mentioned above.
The EECCA "pilot cities" that have been chosen for GEO-Cities in Europe already published less comprehensive urban state of the environment reports on a irregular basis. It has therefore been decided to get the collaborators working on these SoE reports involved in the GEO-City process through a first workshop in each city, during the first half of 2007. These workshops have provided an introduction to the GEO-Cities methodology and project globally and raise interest in local communities about the process.
This methodology will not only lead to better monitoring routines and reporting, but also serve as an ideal means of communicating results locally, and to the international community. Invitations for the first workshop have been sent to members of governments (city, regional and national), interested groups and experts, in order to have the widest panel possible to set up the technical team to collaborate on the GEO-Cities report.