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Chapter Three: Policy Responses - West Asia

Environmental information and education

There is a general lack of reliable, up-to-date information and data on the state of the environment. This relates to the lack of standardization of data formats and consistent environmental monitoring, data collection and reporting. Reports are often located in different public and private organizations, between which there is little or no cooperation. This results in gaps and duplication of data, and limited utilization of the information. This, in turn, hinders policy development, planning, implementation and follow-up.

Networking and integration of data for environmental assessment are at an early stage. Electronic information systems, networks and cooperation and coordination among relevant organizations all need to be strengthened to enable all users to benefit from data at the local, national, regional and international levels.

Many universities and institutions are running courses and organizing training programmes, seminars and postgraduate studies in different fields of the environment. Courses on the environment have also been introduced in school curricula (UNEP/ROWA 1994). However, environmental training has yet to be institutionalized throughout the region.


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