UNEP, MEAs Launch InforMEA Webportal
14 June 2011: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP), together with 17 multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), has launched a new webportal, titled "InforMEA," that draws information from the MEAs' individual websites to permit a user to search for information related to decisions and resolutions, news and events, meeting calendars, and national focal points across all of the participating MEAs.
InforMEA was launched during the Second Steering Committee Meeting of the MEA Information and Knowledge Management Initiative, which is supported by UNEP. The meeting is bringing together approximately 25 representatives from MEAs, UN agencies and observers in Glion, Switzerland, from 14-16 June 2011, where participants also will brainstorm possibilities for collaboration related to online reporting, an MEA college, and extensions of the InforMEA (UN Information Portal on MEAs) interoperability project.
In a keynote speech at the launch, John Scanlon, Secretary General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), noted that InforMEA provides a useful and tangible project that seeks to deliver information that parties want. He emphasized the need to give coherent expression to the entire body of international environmental law and to show how MEAs are relevant to sustainable development in the lead-up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20). Scanlon said this portal will contribute to these efforts.
Maria Louisa Silva, Executive Secretary of the Barcelona Convention (Mediterranean Action Plan), also offered a keynote speech. She highlighted the importance of innovation and the development of linkages among conventions, and noted that these activities require information exchange.