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The Eye on Earth Summit, held in Abu Dhabi from December 12-15, brings together the world’s foremost thinkers about environmental information to reflect on how we can ensure that decision-makers everywhere make wiser decisions. Dozens of speakers with the caliber of President Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, UAE President H.E. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the Conservation International boss, Russell Mittermeier, are helping delegates formulate concrete recommendations for the next Earth Summit to be held in Rio in June 2012.
Access to environmental knowledge is critical: wise decision-making depends on it. As the COP-17 climate conference in Durban, South Africa, recently showed, it is becoming urgent to address the world’s ability to prepare for coming changes to our planet. Environmental information is becoming increasingly precious.
However, much of this information is unavailable, even when it already exists. It may be absent, inaccessible, or simply hidden. Much of it is held in incompatible standards, ‘protected’ by bureaucratic complexity, restrained by lack of open access, or kept in the dark through ignorance of its existence.
Emerging economies in particular are at risk of losing valuable assets because of decisions taken without full knowledge. Yet making more environmental information available to them and others need not be expensive or especially complicated. What is needed, above all, is collaboration, information, and understanding of the problems caused by unavailable data.
Water scarcity, food security, and climate change are policy issues that require solutions that extend beyond political boundaries.
This VNR contains short, impactful statements by the following distinguished speakers:
- H.E. Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Secretary General, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi
- Jack Dangermond, CEO & President, Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri)
- John E. Scanlon, Secretary General, Conservational on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
- President Bill Clinton
- Sha Zukang, UN Undersecretary General and Secretary General of the Rio +20 Summit
- Dr. Achim Steiner, Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- Hernando de Soto, President, Institute for Liberty & Democracy
- Dr. Jane Goodall, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute
- Chief Almir Surui, Amazon Indigenous Leader
- Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director, European Environmental Agency