Anyone who tries to read some of the official publications without
a good deal of training or background work will come away with
two feelings. Firstly, that the publication is virtually impossible
to understand and therefore that the authors have no interest
in promulgating the topic. Secondly, that the language is such
that it is highly exclusive, meant for a specific audience and
not really something ordinary mortals can be involved with.
Sadly, both are mistaken but based on some very solid evidence.
As one who has read more than his fair share of these publications
over the years any help with interpretation is going to be welcomed.
we have this part-dictionary, part-essay to help the unwary
through the minefield which is international governance. Of
course part of the problem is that people will try to read the
material and come away disillusioned so there is a great need
for assistance. What sets this dictionary apart from others
is that it starts with an essay. Although only a fraction of
the book (under 10%) it is undoubtedly a crucial fraction. What
it does (and does well) is to describe the process involved
in international governance and show how it works and the concepts
underpinning it. The result is to give the reader a better grasp
of how things are done and a better appreciation of why the
publications end up as they do from language to concept. This
is no mean feat: even more seasoned readers will find much of
interest. Following through the work one is left with an appreciation
of process which is important. Global issues such as global
warming are not going away and it is crucial that we learn to
decode the documentation that accompanies so much of the international
action. Having gained an insight into the process we can turn
to decode the jargon. The dictionary is just that: an a-z listing
of a very wide range of key terms, acronyms and associated shorthand
without which no report seems complete. Its mixture of common
terms, organisations and concepts makes it a very useful companion.
Its range makes it quite comprehensive - it should serve to
illuminate the vast majority of documents checked through it.
A short but useful series of appendices lists key agreements
and principles as well as providing a considerable list of definitions
for ecology and ecosystems.
this is a very useful text. It helps the reader decode the message.
Its clear style makes looking up material easy and the essay
is a timely reminder of the complexity of the situation. A very
useful addition to the reference shelf.