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The report, entitled International Environmental Governance – The Question of Reform: Key Issues and Proposals, outlines some of the key issues that have dominated the debate on International Environmental Governance Reform in the lead-up to the WSSD, due to be held in Johannesburg in August/September 2002. The report includes the prospect of establishing a centralised governance system that could, for example, be based around a new World Environment Organisation. Another key question addressed by the report is whether a World Environment Court could serve as a useful complement to existing governance structures.

The report aims to elaborate upon concrete proposals for reform that aim to protect the unique strengths of the current international environmental governance system. These strengths include a high level of flexibility and capacity for innovation in the face of rapid advances in scientific knowledge, and in response to continually changing political and economic conditions.

The main focus of the UNU is to provide research on the interaction between ecosystems, economic sectors and society. The four key areas of research activity are: global climate change, integrated policy-making, the impacts of extreme climatic events on society, and integrated global modelling.

It is hoped this report will raise awareness of issues surrounding the question of reform – such as identifying specific gaps and weaknesses in the current system. Other key issues include the goal of securing more stable financing to underpin environmental governance and also the need to encourage a constructive role for non-government actors within the processes of international environmental governance.

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