Global synthesis of environmental knowledge vs. national action for sustainability

Will interdisciplinary synthesis of knowledge help us solve the climate and biodiversity crises together? What is the added value of solution-oriented Global Environmental Assessments for countries’ efforts to enact sustainability transformations? How can global and national attempts to break out of silos of environmental knowledge production learn from each other, to support those transformations?

Thursday September 23, 2021
10:00-11:00 AM (Helsinki/Nairobi time, UCT+3)
Zoom / livestream

This webinar brings together Finnish and international experts and knowledge users to explore how knowledge synthesis, Global Environmental Assessments and collaborative efforts in the environmental science-policy interface can be harnessed to support sustainability transformations.

Global Environmental Assessments support global environmental policymaking by synthesizing state-of-the-art scientific knowledge. However, sustainability transformations require attention to systemic interlinkages beyond the viewpoints of traditional thematic assessments focused on, for example, climate change or biodiversity. At the same time, the often very general messages of global assessments need to be interpreted and tailored to the national context to be useful for the needs of diverse national and local actors.

Globally, we are seeing more and more interdisciplinary efforts to collaborate and to synthesize messages across different environmental dimensions and thematic areas. But what does that mean for the national science-policy-society interface? Are the messages further diluted, or do they have potential to instigate action for wide-ranging sustainability benefits?

The webinar consists of introductory presentations by top international experts to frame the current state of global environmental knowledge synthesis and collaboration between major assessment bodies to harness synergies in promoting sustainable development. The presentations will be followed by a Q&A session to stimulate debate on the global efforts from the Finnish national perspective.


10:00 Welcoming remarks
Eeva Primmer, Research Director, Finnish Environment Institute

10:10 Promoting Synergies between Global Environmental Assessments: Focus for Impact
Andrea Hinwood, Chief Scientist, UNEP

10:25 Powering the Shift to Sustainability: the Role of Knowledge Synthesis
Ivar Baste, Senior Adviser, Norwegian Environment Agency

10:40 Q & A

10:55 Conclusions and closing of the webinar


Andrea Hinwood (PhD) serves as the Chief Scientist of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). She is an environmental scientist with expertise in environmental exposures and impacts on human health. Dr. Hinwood earned a PhD in environmental epidemiology from the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and comes to UNEP having served as the first Chief Environmental Scientist at the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) in Victoria, Australia. Dr Hinwood’s role at UNEP is to provide strategic advice and coordination of the science and analytics that inform the organization's decisions, policies, interventions and publications. In this capacity, she aims to strengthen the scientific base for impact and working with the international science community to achieve that.

Ivar Baste is the co-Chair for the Future of GEO process Steering Committee and served as report lead for UNEPs recent synthesis report: Making Peace with Nature, launched in February 2021. He has also served as a member of the IPBES Bureau, as Director of the UN Environment Management Group, as UNEP Chief of Scientific Assessments, and as Deputy Director General in the Norwegian Ministry of Environment. He has nearly 30 years of experience from numerous international assessment processes starting with the Global Biodiversity Assessment in 1993.

The webinar language is English. A recording of the event will be made available on the YTF Youtube channel.

The event continues the discussions started at the workshop “Globaalit ympäristöraportit: mihin niitä tarvitsemme” in August 2020 (workshop report available in Finnish only).


More information:

Juuli Närhi / Finnish Environment Institute SYKE, Environmental policy centre
+358 (0) 295 252 220,

Marja Järvenpää / Forum for Environmental Information
+358(0)50 355 6352, marja.jarvenpaa(at)

The webinar is organized by the Finnish Environment Institute in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program, the Forum for Environmental Information and the Ministry for the Environment of Finland.


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