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The Governing Council, Pursuing its functions and responsibilities as outlined in General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972 and subsequent mandates such as those set out in the Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of the United Nations Environment Programme12 and the Malmö Ministerial Declaration,13 which include the responsibility to keep the world environmental situation under review to ensure that emerging environmental problems of wide international significance are prioritized and receive appropriate and adequate consideration by Governments and to promote the contribution of relevant international scientific and other professional communities to the acquisition, assessment and exchange of environmental knowledge and information, Recalling its decisions 22/1 of 7 February 2003, on early warning, assessment and monitoring, 23/6 of 25 February 2005, on keeping the world environmental situation under review, and 24/2, 25/2 and 26/2, of 9 February 2007, 20 February 2009 and 24 February 2011, respectively, on the world environmental situation, Taking note of the publication Keeping Track of Our Changing Environment: From Rio to Rio+20 (1992–2012), which is based on the fifth Global Environment Outlook assessment report and shows how global economic, social and environmental conditions have changed over the 20 years since the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, 1. Welcomes the progress in preparing the fifth Global Environment Outlook report; 2. Takes note of the endorsement of the summary for policymakers of the fifth Global Environment Outlook assessment report by the representatives of Governments at the intergovernmental meeting held in Gwangju City, Republic of Korea, in January 2012 in accordance with Governing Council decision 25/2; 3. Notes with great concern that severe changes have taken place in the environment, ranging from the impact of climate change and the loss of biodiversity and species extinction to the degradation of land and the deterioration of water resources and the oceans; 4. Requests the Executive Director, through the programme of work, to continue developing and implementing an outreach strategy for disseminating the findings of the fifth Global Environment Outlook report; 5. Recognizes that the transition to sustainable development varies by country and must be addressed by well-governed, effectively managed, innovative, result-oriented institutions able to create appropriate conditions for change; 6. Stresses that the United Nations Environment Programme should provide science-based information to support parties and other relevant stakeholders in their transition to sustainable development; 7. Calls upon Governments to demonstrate strong leadership individually and collectively, to implement effective policies to monitor, regulate, sustainably manage and improve the environment and ecosystem services and to continue to cooperate within the framework of multilateral processes that aim to prevent and reverse environmental degradation; 8. Calls upon Governments, United Nations bodies, international organizations, the private sector, civil society and the public at large to work with the United Nations Environment Programme and other environmental institutions to integrate science-based environmental information, including from global, regional and national assessments, into the preparatory process for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development; 9. Calls upon Governments, in the lead-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, to assess progress and gaps in the implementation of goals, policies and programmes aimed at tackling environmental degradation so as to facilitate agreement on a way forward; 10. Recognizes that there are gaps in our knowledge of the state of the environment resulting from a lack of data and regular monitoring, particularly in areas such as freshwater quality and quantity, groundwater depletion, ecosystem services, loss of natural habitat, land degradation and chemicals and wastes; 11. Calls upon Governments and the multilateral system to design and implement programmes for bridging the data gaps referred to above, as appropriate, including by building national and regional capacities and establishing regular processes for data-based environmental monitoring and early warning at the national and local levels, subject to national priorities and policies and the availability of funding; 12. Requests the Executive Director to make it a priority for the United Nations Environment Programme to assist developing countries and countries with economies in transition to strengthen their capacities to collect and analyse data and information and monitor environmental trends, as stipulated in the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building, and making information available to policymakers and the public in an open access format such as UNEP-Live; 13. Also requests the Executive Director, through the programme of work and by working with national and regional environmental authorities, to build capacity and to support technology transfer for developing countries and countries with economies in transition, within the framework of the Bali Strategic Plan, with a view to responding to current and future challenges facing humanity: (a) By partnering with centres of excellence to support developing countries and countries with economies in transition in the conduct of integrated assessments at the national level to provide compelling evidence for informed decision-making; (b) By cooperating with the United Nations system and with other bodies to collect environmental data sets, develop and maintain relevant indicators and promote the exchange of best practices in the area of environmental governance; 14. Takes note of the outcome of the first Eye on Earth Summit, held from 12 to 15 December 2011 in Abu Dhabi and the commitment of the Government of the United Arab Emirates to facilitating and supporting the special initiatives contained in the Eye on Earth Declaration, in particular the Global Network of Networks Initiative; 15. Recommends that coherence continue to be sought between the long-term requirements of UNEP-Live and other components of information systems designed for global and regional environmental assessments and data sharing and that the United Nations Environment Programme, upon request, consider undertaking capacity-building activities to enhance the participation of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in the Eye on Earth Summit follow-up process.