Promoting E-Governance Through Capacity Development for the Global Environment: UNEP’s Training Strategy in Integrated Environmental Assessment (IEA)

Promoting E-Governance Through Capacity Development for the Global Environment: UNEP’s Training Strategy in Integrated Environmental Assessment (IEA)

Jim Perry (International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada), Leslie Paas (International Institute for Sustainable Development, Canada), Maria Eugenia Arreola (United Nations Environment Programme, Kenya), Elena Santer (United Nations Environment Programme, Kenya), Nalini Sharma (United Nations Environment Programme, Kenya), and Johara Bellali (United Nations Environment Programme, Kenya)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-814-8.ch011
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Solving the world’s great crises and taking advantage of the world’s greatest opportunities requires innovation and capacity. E-governance uses Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) to broaden participation and make problem solving more effective. Environmental issues represent some of the world’s greatest crises and most significant opportunities. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is a global leader in tackling such issues. UNEP’s Global Environmental Outlook (GEO) relies on contributions from many experts from all regions of the world. Because capacity development is critical to UNEP’s ability to fulfill its mandate, UNEP collaborated with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to commission more than 50 experts to develop training resources for integrated environmental assessment and reporting at the sub-global level. These resources were adapted to an eLearning format, significantly broadening their utility and reach. All materials are organized onto the Moodle Learning Management System and use a facilitated interaction model. The eLearning curriculum and approach has been peer reviewed and pilot tested. This research has further developed a blended learning, Train-the-Multipliers program to train facilitators. This eLearning implementation has clearly demonstrated potential and is advancing e-governance at global, regional, national and sub-national levels in the area of environmental assessment and reporting. Although UNEP’s position as a strong proponent of global environmental governance is unique, the detailed approach described for the eLearning programme is generic and therefore, would be a useful model for others who wish to develop eLearning curricula.
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Organization Background

The UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME (UNEP) is the United Nations (UN) system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.

UNEP’s mission is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations (Online document,

UNEP is the voice for the environment in the UN system. It is an advocate, educator, catalyst and facilitator, promoting informed decision making about interaction between the planet’s natural assets and sustainable development. The organization works with many partners, including UN entities, international organizations, national governments, non-governmental organizations, business, industry, the media and civil society. UNEP’s work includes:

  • assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends,

  • developing international and national environmental agreements and legal instruments,

  • strengthening institutions for integrated management of the environment,

  • integrating economic development and environmental protection,

  • facilitating transfer of knowledge and technology for sustainable development, and

  • encouraging new partnerships and approaches within civil society and the private sector.

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