Interlinkages, or synergy and coordination among Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)‚ is an area in which UNU-IAS has built up significance expertise and recognition. The UNU's work in this field began in 1999 when the University and its UN partners held the first large international conference on Interlinkages. Since this time UNU has conducted a comprehensive work programme on various levels aimed at creating better cooperation among MEAs and introduced considerable input into the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) meeting in 2002.
Beyond WSSD, the work on interlinkages focuses on showing clear examples of how related MEAs can operate more closely together and be implemented synergistically at the local, national, regional, and global level. Given this need, the UNU-IAS' Interlinkages-related activities are concentrated on the following areas:
- linking integrated scientific assessments such as the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment to national and regional policy development and implementation,
- stakeholder awareness raising,
- capacity development ,
- reducing procedural and administrative commitment burdens of developing countries to MEAs, and
- enabling and improving developing country compliance with MEAs.
There is a need for more case studies to be carried out in the area of Interlinkages. UNU-IAS has been involved in the application of the Interlinkages Approach to the management of wetlands..UNU-IAS’ recent work looked at applying the Interlinkages Approach to the Pantanal wetland in South America. (For more information, see Inter-linkages Approach to Wetland Management: The Case of the Pantanal )
Most recently UNU-IAS has become involved in the conceptualisation and development of the Interlinkages Chapter of UNEP's forthcoming Global Environment Outlook (GEO-4), as well as advise UNEP on the inclusion of the Interlinkages methodology in policy implementation.