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The principal aim of DEWA/GRID-Europe is to support environmental decision-making within UNEP, and the UN system as a whole, by generating and disseminating information about the state of the world’s environment in a timely and understandable manner. To provide reliable environmental assessments, GRID-Europe specialises in handling and analysing spatial and statistical data on environmental and natural resource issues through computerised Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remotely-sensed imagery. Over the years, GRID-Europe has compiled an archive of global, European and other geo-spatial databases as part of its information management function. These data, which are typically in digital format, include maps, satellite imagery, statistical tables and reports.
In response to UNEP’s new priorities for action as laid down in the “Nairobi Declaration” (1998), GRID-Europe has sharpened its focus to provide “early warning” on emerging environmental stresses and threats, mobilising environmental information to backstop international action in crisis situations, and providing value-added information products. GRID-Europe also closely monitors developments in Information Technologies and examines their utility to environmental monitoring and policy formulation, and creates client-specific databases and Internet websites.