Informing Policy on Climate, Nature, and Pollution through strengthening national, regional, and global indicator frameworks, and environmental economic accounting on the environment

UNEP is the custodian agency for 25 core environment indicators for Goals 6, 8, 12, 14, 15, and 17 in the global framework for the 2030 Agenda. General Assembly Resolution A/RES/71/313 on Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states the role of Custodian Agencies as (1) providing the methodologies used to harmonize country data for international comparability and produce estimates through transparent mechanisms, and (2) supporting the strengthening of data collection and statistical capacity-building, including capacity-building that strengthens coordination among national statistical offices, as appropriate and within their mandates, in a coordinated manner that recognizes national priorities and reflects national ownership of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

This project contributes to one indicator of each of the subprogrammes Science and Policy, Climate Action, Nature Action and Chemicals and Pollution Action. The project’s objective is Governments use high-quality open environmental data and analysis in policy making.

The project puts in place the following to achieve its objective:

  1. High quality monitoring, reporting, and analysis on the environmental dimension of the SDGs at the international level.
  2. Multidisciplinary integrated analysis to inform policy.
  3. Tools and training for capacity building to measure, monitor and report on the environment and SDGs.

To achieve the objective, it leverages expertise across and beyond the UN System, including the Secretariat entities, UNEP, UNSD, the Regional Commissions, and other UN Agencies. It also works in collaboration with other partners such as scientific institutes to improve synergies and maximize the impact.

Output A

This will focus on consolidating and quality-assuring UNEP’s submission on data and analysis on environmental SDG indicators to the UN SDG Global Database and the SDG Progress Report; develop and/or improve indicator methodologies for SDG and other environmental indicator frameworks (including the use of big data (e.g. geospatial information, citizen science), modelling, and digital tools (e.g. natural language processing, Sustainable Consumption and Production Hotspot Analysis Tool (SCP HAT)), and refine the mechanisms for the collection and quality assurance of data for the SDG Indicators.

Output B

Inform policy on Climate, Nature and Chemicals & Pollution through monitoring the State and Trends in the environment, as well as methodological research to develop indicator frameworks that support monitoring of gender and environment, circular economy and interlinkages; contribute environment-related SDG indicators to assessment reports in UNEP and for consideration by the HLPF and UNEA; further develop a ‘Measuring progress’ series on environmentally relevant SDG indicators for policy-makers; and inform Climate, Pollution and Nature subprogrammes through Environmental Economic Accounts, including through e.g. Plastic Flow Accounts, and Ocean Accounts.

Output C

This will focus on building national capacity for collection of comparable data using international standard methodologies. Activities include development of technical guidance documents and online training modules on environment statistics and accounting; (e.g., guidelines on Plastics Flow Accounts and Ocean Accounting methodologies); supporting countries to compile environment statistics, integrate the gender perspective, use of SDMX, and use of statistics for international reporting; enhancing regions' and countries’ capacities for measuring progress on the transition towards a circular economy; provide capacity development on the use of geospatial data to inform specific needs in the environmental area; and provide capacity development on Climate Change and disaster related statistics (DA-14). Under this output, the project will also provide support to UN Country Teams on environment statistics and accounts and provide capacity to countries in developing environmental information systems.