Intersecretariat Working Group on Environment Statistics (IWG-ENV)
Given the numerous international and regional organizations engaging in the collection and compilation of environment statistics, the United Nations Statistical Commission, at its 34th session, empowered UNSD to convene the Intersecretariat Working Group on Environment Statistics (IWG-ENV) to develop and harmonize concepts, methods and standards, as well as coordinate data collection and capacity development in environment statistics.
The permanent members of the IWG-ENV are organisations/agencies that have well-established international programmes on environment statistics, including direct and regular collection of comprehensive environment statistics from countries. Other organisations/agencies and countries with experience in specific areas of environment statistics are invited to participate in specific IWG-ENV activities.
The IWG-ENV currently meets on a needs-be basis, primarily through teleconferences, and email communication.
Some of the recent work that UNSD has undertaken, in collaboration with the IWG-ENV has been the compilation of an inventory of regular, international environmental data collection, reporting and dissemination from countries undertaken by the United Nations, its specialized agencies, intergovernmental organizations and conventions in 2015 and 2017. The next inventory is being compiled in 2019 and the results will be contained in the Report of the Secretary-General on Environment Statistics and its accompanying Background Report being prepared for the 51st session of the Statistical Commission in 2020.
Another activity that UNSD undertakes, through the IWG-ENV, is the collaboration on water and waste questionnaires by international agencies. The objective of the harmonized data collection is to provide internationally comparable statistics on environmental issues based on standard questionnaires and methodology.
Furthermore, the sixth meeting of the Expert Group on Environment Statistics in 2019 discussed the increased demand for and delivery of capacity development in environment statistics. Given limited resources and in the interest of improving coordination of capacity development efforts, UNSD is conducting an inventory of capacity development in environment statistics, starting with the agencies, and the results will be contained in the Report of the Secretary-General on Environment Statistics and its accompanying Background Report being prepared for the 51st session of the Statistical Commission in 2020.