A conceptual framework for UNEP's reporting functions is proposed, aimed at supporting strategic environmental policy development. To this end information should be provided about the past, current and future state of the environment as a function of demographic and socio-economic developments.
The policy relevance of the existing global environmental reporting functions may be improved considerably by introducing three new elements:
- the application of integrated conceptual frameworks and computer models to allow for the analysis of the dynamic linkages between different environmental changes, between environment and development, and for early warning purposes and prognosis
- a framework of appropriate indicators related to the pressure on the environment, the state-of-the-environment, the resulting impacts on functions of the environment and the societal response ; for these indicators to be policy-relevant appropriate reference values should be selected and developed
- networks of experts and expert institutions for assessment and consensus building on key environmental issues.
This report focuses on the first two elements. Consensus building on reference values is necessary for appreciation of reported indicators. The Pressure-State-Impact-Response framework is used as an organizing principle for indicators in the environmental management cycle.