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Early methodological work carried out by UNSD in the field of environment statistics focused on the development of frameworks, concepts and methods. The Framework for the Development of Environment Statistics (FDES), published in 1984, was based on the synthesis of the different approaches that emerged during the late seventies and early eighties. The Concepts and Methods of Environment Statistics: Human Settlements Statistics (1988) and Statistics of the Natural Environment (1991) described detailed sets of statistical variables within the FDES.
The FDES is a loose and flexible framework that is still used by many national statistical offices for developing and organizing environmental and related socio-economic information.
The FDES has been used for the development of a list of environmental and related socio-economic indicators. The list, a result of a collaboration of UNSD with several developed and developing countries and international organizations that participated in the Inter-governmental Working Group on the Advancement of Environment Statistics, was adopted for international compilation by the Statistical Commission in 1995.
UNSD published a Glossary of Environment Statistics in 1997 consisting of approximately 1200 environmental terms. It is a quick reference tool for terms and definitions relevant to environmental data production and use.
Working papers are unofficial documents produced as a result of research done at the United Nations Statistics Division. A paper on Land degradation and Land Use/Cover Data Sources is currently available.
As part of the methodological work of UNSD environment statistics
compilation manuals are being prepared to support the Questionnaire
and to provide countries guidance and best practices in the development
and production of basic environment statistics that is the precondition
for any efforts aiming at the production of environmental indicators and