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.Up Projects GRID in Ukraine Project GRID-Kiev Agreement(Project)

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About GRID


UNEP's mission statement

"The United Nations Environment Programme's mission within the UN system is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and people to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations."

GRID-Arendal's mission statement
"GRID-Arendal aims to be an internationally recognised information center providing decision-makers and the public with improved access to high quality environmental information and supporting the United Nations Environment Programme in expanding the use of such information for awareness-raising, policy-making and action."

The Role of GRID within UNEP
The Global system of GRID centres is administered by UNEP under its programme for environmental information and assessment. This programme addresses the need to keep under review the state of the world's environment, to provide early warning of environmental threats, to improve access to multi-disciplinary information, and to enhance capabilities to use this information for decision-making, action planning and setting policy.

GRID-Arendal's purposes
The main purposes of GRID-Arendal are to help strengthen UNEP, and through it the UN system, in putting environmental information into practical use, and, to serve as a working example of how a non-profit foundation with strong government support can make such a contribution. The main directions given to GRID-Arendal in the current joint agreement between UNEP and the Government of Norway are to focus on: Norway; the Nordic countries with their adjacent seas; the two polar regions; and supporting the global and regional activities of UNEP in the field of environmental information.

Since 1972, one of the central tasks of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been to supply accurate and reliable environmental information as a basis for assessments of environmental issues. One way to achieve this is by building up national capacities in delivering such information. This is done by UNEP through the global implementation of Environment and Natural Resource Information Networks (ENRIN). Since 1994, the ENRIN programme has been developed in Central and Eastern Europe and in Newly Independent States, coordinated by GRID-Arendal in Norway in cooperation with GRID-Geneva and UNEP's Regional Office for Europe, and financially supported by UNEP and through multilateral and bilateral donor programmes.

ENRIN's objectives are to:

help countries in CEE and the NIS to inform citizens and decision-makers within their countries and abroad about the state of the national environment (SoE) in the most effective and cost-efficient way
help the international community to get easy access to comparable official information on state on the environment from as many countries as possible.


ENRIN's approach focuses on:

building institutional and technological capacities of national environmental authorities for up-to-date and efficient production and dissemination of SoE information on an independent and sustainable basis
harmonising the activities and outputs of ENRIN network with those of other international and regional initiatives and organisations

ENRIN's activities comprise:

national capacity building projects, leading to the establishment of national environmental information facilities as parts of the ENRIN network as well as other UNEP's processes such as GRID, INFORTERRA and GEO global SoE assessment. See matrix for the status of national activities by country.
regional capacity building projects, aimed at supporting harmonisation of environmental information on the regional level and establishing regional environmental information networks and facilities. Regional SoE assessments are currently under way in the Aral Sea Basin and in the Caucasus.
the production of indicator-based electronic SoE reports as key outputs, to ensure the cost-efficiency and flexibility of dissemination (the Internet, CD-ROMs, derivative paper publications).
meetings and training through ENRIN's own workshops and joint events held e.g. in cooperation with OECD, WHO, Baltic Environmental Forum, and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.


It is expected that all 27 countries in the region by 2002 will have national ENRIN implementation under way or completed. ENRIN intends to further concentrate on contributing to streamlining national and regional environmental information activities. This will be done through strengthening partnership with other organisations and agencies within and outside the UN family, such as UNCSD, UNDP, UNECE, WHO, World Bank, and the secretariats of international environmental conventions, and with such regional organisations as EU (EEA, PHARE, TACIS), OECD, and the "Environment for Europe" process.