Emerging Issues

Munn et al 1 in their 1999 study for the United Nations Environmental Programme’s (UNEP) Global Environmental Outlook 2000 assessment (GEO-2000) defined emerging issues as follows: 

“an issue, positive or negative, which is not yet generally recognized but which may have  significant impact on human and / or ecosystem health in the 21stCentury…an emerging issue is associated with one of the following:

  1. political, social, economic, financial, institutional or technological developments that may cause changes in trends of human activities; 
  2. new evidence or theory that suggests potentially large environmental change, but which is currently either not widely accepted, or is considered unproven; and
  3. lack of adequate policy, action or leadership on an existing issue, which may become more significant or more urgent in the future.

An emerging issue is not necessarily an issue no one has heard of, or that comes as a shocking surprise.”

The Blue Carbon Initiative

The Blue Carbon Initiative works to protect and restore coastal ecosystems for their role in reducing impacts of global climate change. To support this work, the Initiative is coordinating the International Blue Carbon Scientific Working Group and International Blue Carbon Policy Working Group, which provide guidance for needed research, project implementation and policy priorities

  • Wells, P.G. 2010, Emerging Issues – Circa 2010. In: State of the Gulf of Maine Report; Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment.
  • Munn, R.E., Whyte, A.V.T. and Timmerman, P. 1999. “Emerging Environmental Issues for the 21st Century: A Study for GEO-2000”. Environment Information and Assessment Technical Report UNEP/DEI&EW/TR.99-5, United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi, Kenya ISBN 92-807-1900-9
  • Drysdale, C., Jones, K.M.M. and Mockford, S. 2010. Biodiversity: The Foundation for Environmental, Social and Economic Prosperity in Nova Scotia panel of expertise report on biodiversity to the steering panel as part of the Nova Scotia Natural Resources Strategy 2010 process.
  • The 2010 Canadian Marine Ecosystem Status and Trends Report : Science Advisory Report 2010/30 published by Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat contains emerging issues and knowledge gaps for three marine ecosystems, Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence, Gulf of Maine and Scotian Shelf and Newfoundland and Labrador Shelves.
  • GESAMP (2010, IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/UNIDO/WMO/IAEA/UN/UNEP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection); Bowmer, T. and Kershaw, P.J., 2010 (Eds.), Proceedings of the GESAMP International Workshop on plastic particles as a vector in transporting persistent, bio-accumulating and toxic substances in the oceans. GESAMP Rep. Stud. No. 82, 68pp.

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