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Participation in Selected International Environmental Agreements

Environmental Indicators: Governance
Participation in Selected International Environmental Agreements

Last update: December 2015


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Sources:
United Nations Environment Programme Global Environment Outlook Data Portal (GEO Data).
See: http://geodata.grid.unep.ch.

Definitions & Technical notes:

The table presents the years of formalization of participation in a selection of international environmental treaties and conventions for the 193 United Nations member states only. Participation, in this table, means the country or area has become party to the agreements under the treaty or convention, which is achieved through a variety of means depending on country circumstances, namely: accession, acceptance, approval, formal confirmation, ratification, and succession. Countries or areas who have signed but not become party to the agreements under a given convention or treaty are thus indicated as non-participants. The years refer to the date that participation was formalized. No value, '…', indicates non-participation according to the source at the time of the latest update.

Participation can have special or country-specific provisions depending on the nature of the agreement and national circumstances. For more detailed country-specific information on participation under each agreement please visit the website of the secretariat for the convention/treaty.

Below are the complete titles and secretariat websites for each of the selected environmental agreements in the table: Data Quality:
All values in this table are taken from the UNEP GEO Data Portal website.
For more information see: http://geodata.grid.unep.ch.

OPEN DATA FOR CITIES

The first Open Cities Summit brought together key actors to explore how cities and citizens are implementing open data solutions to improve the everyday lives of citizens. The objective was to connect city-level open data users and providers to build a community for continued learning.

International Open Data Conference (IODC) illustrated a growing commitment to creating a network of cities using open data that accelerate innovation to address urban issues and build upon current activities.

Key examples of progressive open data initiatives working in cities include:

  1. City keys - European Performance Measurement Network for monitoring and comparing the implementation of Smart City Solutions;
  2. Media Mills - A consortium of partners that work in the local level as media producers, researchers, and others to create local impact;
  3. Mobility labs Madrid - An open platform to support urban mobility, allowing developers and data journalists to store and extract information:

OPEN DATA FOR TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY

International Open Data Conference (IODC) 2016 included several pre-events focused on open data for accountability, including those organized by the Follow the Money Network and Open Contracting, which focused on new projects, approaches, and tools to advance public financial accountability and open contracting respectfully. Other sessions put a spotlight on other accountability issues, including anti-corruption, Open Budgets, and Data Journalism. Each of these issues is supported by strong communities with emerging practices on how to improve accountability for public and private institutions.

Several current projects highlight the impact of open data on accountability, including:

  1. Civio – A Spanish organization that develops tools designed to promote transparency and accountability from knowing how the public budget is spent to mapping political actors and their interests;
  2. BuyandSell.gc.ca – A website that shares contracting data on all public procurement by the Government of Canada;
  3. Prozorro – A Ukrainian project that looks to launch a full-cycle electronic system of public procurement with the support of Transparency International;
  4. OpenCorporates – An initiative that campaigns for public beneficial ownership registries, and in partnership with the World Bank, maintains the Open Company Data Index, which benchmarks company registries based on data accessibility.

OPEN DATA FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

The Natural Resource Governance Institute hosted a two-day data dive into open data on extractives, including project level payment data, contracts, environmental information, and geospatial data.

The opening of resource and environmental data allows citizens, governments, students, and researchers to protect and defend the environment objectively. Platforms are being built to share this information more broadly among stakeholders, and to make environment analysis simpler and timelier.

Discussions and projects at International Open Data Conference (IODC) 2016 focused on data-driven decision making related to important environmental questions that are an ever increasing focus of open data efforts around the world, including:

  1. Global Forest Watch – Seeks to manage and conserve forest landscapes;
  2. Open Dev Mekong – A shared network of open databases on this topic;
  3. CartoCrítica – A mission to map projects with environmental repercussions and make them public.

OPEN DATA FOR HUMANITARIAN AID

International Open Data Conference (IODC) 2016 saw international aid discussed from many different perspectives, but humanitarian assistance and disaster management may have been the most prevalent. In both cases, impact can be slow to emerge, but as this community continues to grow and collaborate with the resources of international organizations, proven approaches are beginning to show real results.

Highlighted projects include:

  1. The Humanitarian Data Exchange – The goal of HDX is to make humanitarian data easy to find and use for analysis;
  2. Earthquake Response Open Nepal – Project in charge of tracking national and international financial flows and the use of these funds for relief and reconstruction activities;
  3. ThinkHazard! – A web-based tool enabling non-specialists to consider the impacts of disasters on new development projects;
  4. ZOOM – An open data platform for Data-Informed Strategy in combating the Aids Epidemic;

OPEN DATA FOR SCIENCE

This year’s International Open Data Conference (IODC) saw several discussions and examples of advances in open data to effectively share scientific research and discoveries in order to both broaden the benefits realized from completed research and to influence future research efforts. Following a pre-event on research open data, workshops during the conference also focused more than ever on innovative methods for opening scientific data and creating new tools to manipulate that data.

Highlighted projects and initiatives included:

  1. Spaghetti Open Data – A community-led project that that seeks to better understand scientific project funding through open data;
  2. MareData: A Spanish network that groups and consolidates research data in order to push collaboration between and across stakeholder groups.

OPEN DATA PRINCIPLES

The Open Data Charter was launched in September 2015 to provide governments with a common foundation upon which to realize the full potential of open data for their own jurisdiction. Over the past year, the Charter has been adopted by 41 national and sub-national governments.

At International Open Data Conference (IODC), the Charter Stewards met to launch the Resource Centre and discuss the future of the initiative. The main challenges moving forward will be to:

  • Move beyond political will to a stronger institutionalization of open data policies;
  • Build greater synergy with other global agendas, including Open government and Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Address challenges to the successful implementation of open data principles across jurisdictions.