International organisations and analyses of global change

Global change is initiated by

1. Decisions made at national and international level

2. The sum of many small individual decisions: This ranges from individuals to the world society (see Fig. 5.4.3). Within this range are a number of organisations that have particular interest in global change (WBGU 2001b), those that have direct influence on land use, e.g. FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation), or indirectly through the decisions it makes, e.g. the WTO (World Trade Organisation). Between these types of organisation are the financial organisations that have no direct contact with agriculture and forestry, but that distribute resources and so have a more direct impact on nations than the WTO. A few examples are the World Bank, IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the GEF (Global Environmental Facility, which finances projects in the area of biodiversity and energy saving), as well as the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme).

Parallel to these are organisations that scientifically study and analyse global change.

These include:

• organisations of the UN (UN Environment Programme, UNEP), the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO);

• organisations that are financially involved also in the global environmental audits (e.g. World Bank);

• scientific organisations: ICSU (International Committee of Scientific Unions) and the ISSC (International Social Science Committee).

There are various organisations supporting worldwide studies of global change:

• WCRP (World Climate Research Programme), initiated by the WMO and supported directly by nations within WMO;

• IGBP (International Geosphere Biosphere Programme), a branch of the ICSU;

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