Virtual Library

This WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources is a frequently updated Internet directory of over 2000 annotated links to high-quality English-language sources of information and analysis in a wide range of international affairs, international relations, international studies, global studies, and global education topics. These sites are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, authoritative information and analysis online. Each website is described only in general terms because of the typically rapid changes in details of its contents and features.




GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT

 

Limited Area Search Engines, Directories, Databanks, and Portals


ECOLEX: A Gateway to Environmental Law-- From the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Conservation Union, several large databases of national and international legal instruments and materials related to environmental management, searchable by subject area, keyword, country, or date.


Eldis-- "Sharing the best in development policy, practice and research," Eldis is a world class directory and gateway to electronic information resources on development and the environment, with a huge searchable database of thousands of papers online at its site or linked. Note especially the very helpful Climate Change Resource Guide.

Environmental Performance Index-- Biennial index presents interactive results of collaboration between Yale and Columbia Universities to rank countries on environmental performance indicators across policy categories covering "both environmental public health and ecosystem vitality." Results are shown in interactive maps, country rankings, country profiles, and case studies. Posts news and blogs.

Freshwater Ecoregions of the World-- "Global biogeographic regionalization of the Earth's freshwater biodiversity... covering virtually all freshwater habitats on Earth, [an] ecoregion map, together with associated species data." From the Nature Conservancy.


Other Sources


Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities-- Official governmental source of information on the environment in Australia.


Center for International Earth Science Information Network-- Excellent site from Columbia University's Earth Institute, to further the interdisciplinary study of global environmental change. See especially their very useful Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center, with datasets, interactive maps, and links designed to integrate social and natural science data for better decision making on environmental issues.

Commission for Environmental Cooperation-- Created under the North American Agreement for Environmental Cooperation, under NAFTA, to address environmental and related trade issues in North America.

Convention on Biological Diversity-- Website of the Convention on Biological Diversity, with news, fact sheets, country profiles, and many reports on the Convention and related topics. See especially their flagship publication "Global Biodiversity Outlook."

Earth Policy Institute-- Research institute with the mission of providing "a vision of what an environmentally sustainable economy will look like and a plan for how to get from here to there." Posts statistics, news, updates, reports, and analyses about the current global environment and sustainable alternative economic measures.

Environmental News Network-- "The largest and longest-running portal in the global business of the environment, "excellent for news, features, multimedia presentations, forums, polls, and special reports.

European Environmental Agency-- News, publications, datasets, multimedia, and maps from this European Union organization. Also check out the European Environment Information and Observation Network.

European Environmental Law Network-- Full text cases, legislation, dossiers, articles, national pages, and other materials on European environmental law.

Forestry Site of the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations-- Detailed databased information on the world's forests, including in country profiles. Note the annual report State of the World's Forests and the Global Forests Resources Assessments section.

Global Footprint Network-- "International think tank working to advance sustainability through use of the Ecological Footprint, a resource accounting tool that measures how much nature we have, how much we use and who uses what." The site develops, applies, and allows users to apply the concept of the Ecological Footprint to "bring about new solutions and spark a global dialogue about ecological limits and overshoot."

Greenpeace International-- This famous environmentalist group offers information on many topics, emphasizing climate, oceans, forests, agriculture, toxic pollution, and nuclear matters.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change-- IGO established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme "to assess scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation." Posts reports, press releases, official documents, and graphic presentations on the topic.

International Institute for Sustainable Development-- IISD's mission is to promote sustainable development in decisionmaking, internationally and within Canada, for audiences and clients including businesses, governments, communities, and concerned individuals.

International Water Management Institute-- International research center supported by the network of 60 governments, private foundations and international and regional organizations, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, with the mission of improving the "management of land and water resources for food, livelihoods and nature," especially in developing countries. Posts a wide variety of publications, analytical tools, and databases.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce-- Environmental, climatic, weather, and oceanographic information. Note the National Oceanographic Data Center.

Nature Conservancy-- "The leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people," with a wide range of international information and analysis.

Pollution-- News, information, and links on many aspects of global pollution, from the World News Network.

Resources for the Future-- This nonprofit and nonpartisan U.S. organization conducts independent social science research on environmental and natural resource issues, and provides online discussion papers, articles, project summaries, and reports.

UN-Water-- Official United Nations site that posts much information on and analysis of "all aspects of  freshwater, including surface and groundwater resources and the interface between fresh and sea water. It includes freshwater resources, both in terms of their quality and quantity, their development, assessment, management, monitoring and use (including, for example, domestic uses, agriculture and ecosystems requirements)."

UNESCO Water Portal-- "Intended to enhance access to information related to freshwater available on the World Wide Web. The site provides links to the current UNESCO and UNESCO-led programmes on freshwater and will serve as an interactive point for sharing, browsing and searching websites of water-related organizations, government bodies and NGOs, including a range of categories such as water links, water events, learning modules and other on-line resources." Note as well UNESCO's World Water Assessment Program.

United Nations Atlas of the Oceans-- "An Internet portal providing information relevant to the sustainable development of the oceans. It is designed for policy-makers who need to become familiar with ocean issues and for scientists, students and resource managers who need access to databases and approaches to sustainability."

United Nations Environment Programme--  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. Be sure to consult the major UNEP year book "Global Environment Outlook." You may find the UNEP Library to be helpful. For data, maps, and country reports, also try the United Nations Environment Programme at GRID-Arendal. Note the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the world biodiversity information and assessment center of the UNEP. The UNEP Freshwater site provides analysis about the world's threatened supplies of fresh water, in news, reports, conference papers, and graphics.

United Nations Gateway to the UN System’s Work on Climate Change-- Useful hub for monitoring the work of the entire UN system on the climate change issue, with publications linked or on-site.

World Bank Environment Site-- Outlines World Bank projects related to the environment and provides plentiful data and analysis of environmental conditions and issues around the world. The Environmental Economics and Indicators page lends access to abundant World Bank data, analysis, and publications on environmental indicators, examination of the linkages between poverty and the environment, and policy options.

World Resources Institute-- A policy research center striving to address how societies can meet basic human needs and promote economic growth without undermining natural resources and environmental integrity. This major site has a large number of full-text searchable studies and other resources online (such as databanks), by location and subject. Read their World Resources Report online.

World Water Council-- Based in Marseille, this "international water policy think tank dedicated to strengthening the world water movement for an improved management of the world's water resources" posts news and analysis about world water issues and about conferences on the topic.

World Wildlife Fund-- World's largest independent conservation organization. Note the Publications and Resources page and especially the interactive Living Planet Report, a quantitative picture of the world's natural environment and the human pressures upon it, through the Living Planet Index, to measure the change in the health of the world's natural ecosystems since 1970.

World's Water--  "Dedicated to providing information and resources to help protect and preserve freshwater around the globe." Also see the related site, the International Water Law Project.

Worldwatch Institute--  Informs policymakers and the public about emerging global problems and trends and the complex links between the world economy and its environmental support systems, with the motto "independent research for an environmentally sustainable and socially just society." Free and paid downloads of reports, plus news, articles, and blogs.

Yale Environment 360-- "Online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues [with] original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news," from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.


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This section of the WWW Virtual Library system was created, and is edited and maintained, by Dr. Wayne A.Selcher, Professor of International Studies Emeritus, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2288  U.S.A., as a volunteer and non-profit public service. This website copyright 1997-present by Wayne A. Selcher. E-mail: selchewa@etown.edu