Evaluation of the UN website
The UN website is an online database with various data sets used mainly by UNEP and other partnering organizations for the global environmental outlook. The website allows one to conduct analysis through creation of graphs, tables, and maps and comparing data at the global, regional, sub-regional, and national levels. The website covers both environmental themes and social economic themes. The environmental themes covered in the website include fresh water, forest, disasters, and climate. The themes covered under social economic domain include population, environmental, economy, health, and education policies.
The datasets contained in the website are important since they serve the purpose of global environmental outlook by assessing some of the important goals and objectives relating to the global environment. By making these assessments, the UNEP and collaborating organizations are able to monitor progress in sustainability efforts from both a global and local perspective. The UNEP gathers this information from several agencies. Majority of the data providers are UN agencies and other partnering organizations. They include OECD, the world bank, WHO, UN statistical division, UNESCO, UNEP, and FAO.
The datasets have been made accessible to anyone interested. There is very little restriction regarding copyright issues and downloading of the data. There are limitations concerning the nature of the data. The limitations can arise because of the way the data is collected. It is sometimes difficult to analyze and present aggregate figures because in some cases at the national level, there can be lack of data on a particular variable. Since the data are mainly retrieved from national level, one can get more reliable and accurate data by accessing national databases.
The approach of using indicators is very useful as it can be applied globally. This implies that it is possible to measure the vulnerability and adaptive capacity within the global level. The problem with vulnerability indicators comes when they are used to measure vulnerability in one dimension only. For instance, many countries and regions experience catastrophic floods regularly but without major or significant loss of life. However, also other regions experience catastrophic floods leading to significant loss of life. At the same time, the cause of death in these regions may be contributed because of extreme poverty and other factors. Therefore, while conducting an analysis for disaster vulnerability of a these regions, it is possible that they do not show any indication for vulnerability to floods. When averaging across extremes, it is possible that there be some fallacies. Similarly, since the analyses do not consider the heterogeneity of the extremes a fallacy may occur during analysis.
Concerning emission of CO2, industrialized and developed nations emit more co2 compared to non-industrialized or developing countries. Even though the trends indicate reduction in emission, the emission by Germany is still higher than that of Indonesia. Forest area shows that Germany has made attempt to maintain and increase its cover over the years since 1992. This is however not the case for Indonesia as the forest cover is on a declining trend.
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