LEO aims to provide an agreed to semantic standard for any institution or organization that collects and manages data, information and knowledge in the field of Environmental Law and Governance. The development of a semantic Ontology for Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and International Environmental Law was identified as a priority for MEA Secretariats and UNEP at the first meeting of the MEA Information and Knowledge Management (IKM) Initiative. Members to the MEA IKM Initiative agreed on the need for a ‘controlled vocabulary’ to allow for easier searching, locating and retrieving of MEA information such as decisions by MEA governing bodies and meeting documents, reports and national plans.
Generous financial support from the European Union provided for the review and enhancement of the draft InforMEA glossary through a Multi-Stakeholder process. The MEA IKM Initiative identified the IUCN Environmental Law Centre as collaborator in the development of the next version of the vocabulary and chose the FAO’s VOCbench system as the platform for the development and maintenance of the vocabulary. The IKM Initiative also reached out to organizations involved in the development of thesauri, such as the European Environment Agency’s GEMET, the ECOLEX and the FAOlex glossary..