GRID Centres Network
The Global Resource Information Database (GRID) is a worldwide network of 15 environmental data centres managed by UNEP's Division of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA) from its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. The GRID network was first launched in 1985 with centres in Geneva and Nairobi. GRID centres have now been established in five of the six geographical regions around which UNEP has organised its global activity.
GRID aims to provide and facilitate access to high-quality environmental data and information for decision-making and policy-setting, and to support UNEP's environmental assessment and reporting, networking and early warning activities. Typically, GRID centres specialise in the preparation and provision of value-added environmental information products using tools such as remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems, and by developing client-specific databases and Internet websites.
In the 26 years since the GRID network was founded, the UN world and information technologies have changed in significant ways. GRID as a concept has also evolved significantly during this period, and became more fully integated in its parent divisino of Early Warning and Assessment (DEWA). The network itself expanded from the two original centres in Geneva and Nairobi to some 15 offices at different levels (national, regional and even thematic) around the world.
GEO: UNEP launched the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Project in 1995. It has two components: a global environmental assessment process, the GEO Process, that is cross-sectoral and participatory; GEO outputs, in printed and electronic formats, including the GEO Report series, that make periodic reviews of the state of the world's environment, and provides guidance for decision-making processes such as the formulation of environmental policies, action planning and resource allocation.
A coordinated network of Collaborating Centres is the core of the GEO process. These centres have played an increasingly important role in preparing GEO reports. They are now responsible for almost all the regional inputs, thus combining top-down integrated assessment with bottom-up environmental reporting. A number of Associated Centres also participate, providing specialized expertise. Four working groups - on modelling, scenarios, policy and data - provide advice and support to the GEO process, helping coordinate the work of the Collaborating Centres to make their outputs as comparable as possible. DEWA/GRID-Europe was coordinating the preparation of the data strategy for GEO-3. Fore more information on GEO activities, click here.