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UNEP Executive Director Releases Op-Ed on Access to Data

12 December 2011: Achim Steiner, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, wrote an op-ed during the Eye on Earth Summit that seeks to strengthen existing efforts and inspire undertakings to find a solution to issues that prohibit universal data access. 

Convening in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Summit aims to accelerate and realize a low carbon, resource efficient 21st century Green Economy.

According to Steiner, the Eye on Earth Summit provides an opportunity to build improved understanding between data specialists and policy makers. He underscored Africa's vulnerability to climate change, noting that high quality weather and climate data is crucial for reliable weather forecasts required by planners to avert the worst impacts of droughts and floods. Steiner explained that Africa requires 200 automatic weather stations, as well as digitization of historic data.

Steiner underscored the need to better manage the atmosphere, air, land, water and seas by addressing data gaps addressing access to data, and how best to use the mounting volumes of data from satellites to monitoring stations. He also stressed the need for greater openness and more regular data sharing between academics, universities and the private sector. [UNEP Press Release] [IISD RS Coverage of Eye on Earth Summit]