Monday, January 19, 2009

Manchester Declaration on Access to Information

Following the 4th International Conference of Information Commissioners (ICIC), which took place in Manchester, United Kingdom, on May 22nd and May 23rd, 2006, hosted by the U.K. Information Commissioner, the Open Society Justice Initiative in cooperation with Access Info Europe and the FOI Advocates Network convened a civil society meeting on May 24th, 2006, to review and discuss the issues presented at the commissioners' meeting. Members of more than two dozen civil society organizations from Europe, Asia and Latin America participated in this session. Following this meeting the group drafted the Manchester Declaration on Access to Information, to follow up the similar declaration issued by civil society groups after the Cancun ICIC in 2005.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Workshop: Towards Shared Environmental Information in Europe: Opportunities and Challenges for Integrated Research

On January 28 and 29, 2009, the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford (UK) will host a workshop on SEIS titled:

“Towards Shared Environmental Information in Europe:
Opportunities and Challenges for Integrated Research”

The overall aim of the workshop is to discuss the opportunities and challenges for research that are posed by the development of European-wide environmental information systems such as SEIS. The workshop will brainstorm on how research institutes and higher education institutions - either in their role as data holders or as science providers - can help making environmental information sharing in Europe a reality. The workshop aims at connecting the research community, sharing experiences and best practices and discussing the development of new tools and methodologies. Thus, the event will help researchers and practitioners get up to speed with the state-of-the-art in this fast-changing business, looking in a holistic way at the whole process from collecting and managing data to delivering and using environmental information. While it is not the intention to focus on the technical development or implementation of SEIS as such, the workshop will generate ideas which may add value to the SEIS concept.

The objectives of the workshop are:

To discuss the opportunities and challenges which systems for sharing environmental information in Europe offer to the research community, both in its role as data holder and science provider .
To share best practice, facilitate networking and open new integrated research avenues with the aim of adding value to initiatives such as SEIS.
To agree on joint activities to support systems for sharing environmental information from a research perspective.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Modelling environmental change in Europe: towards a model inventory (SEIS/Forward) Document Actions

EEA has published a technical report to provide a non-exhaustive overview of modelling tools currently available to simulate future environmental change at a European scale.
Modelling tools have become an important cornerstone of environmental assessments, and play an important role in providing the data and indicators needed to describe the state of, trends in and prospects of the environment. The report presents a general characterisation of environmental models based on the themes covered, the geographical coverage and the analytical structure of the respective models. A pool of some 80 models is introduced, many of which have been used by the European Environment Agency in its recent environmental assessments and reports, a limited number of which are described in more detail. This review identifies gaps in the availability, accessibility and applicability of current modelling tools, and stresses the need to further stimulate the development and application of environmental forecasting techniques.
One of the basic requirements for the efficient use of forward-looking assessments is to improve and further develop forward-looking components of environmental information systems and integrate these into existing information systems. Here, the EEA is seeking to fill a gap in this area by developing forward-looking components of environment that will ultimately contribute to a Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS).
Such forward-looking information systems should include both purely quantitative information (such as projections) and combinations of qualitative and qualitative information (such as environmental scenarios). The objective of this forward-looking information system is not to produce better data to reflect a reality that has not yet unfolded, but to produce information that provides deeper understanding and insights into possible future developments.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Proposal for SEIS implementation Plan at Eionet Level

This paper presents proposals for a process to identify priorities for implementation of SEIS in 2007-2008 at Eionet level. It builds on the inputs and outcome of the management board seminar of November 2006 and the paper on an SEIS operational timetable for 2007 presented earlier by EEA under Item 5. This paper should be considered in conjunction with these other outcomes.

Monday, October 13, 2008

SEIS Task Force established

A SEIS Task Force has been established to assist the Commission in preparing its policy proposals for the implementation of SEIS and will bring together all relevant stakeholders (Commission services, MSs, EEA, Regions, NGOs, International Organisations, businesses). The Task Force had its first meeting on Monday 29 September 2008 in Brussels. Contact person at the commission is Meropi Paneli.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Elements of EEA's SEIS concept

In its annual management plan for 2008, the European Environment Agency (EEA) has identified its objective to contribute to the development of a Shared Environmental Information System for Europe (SEIS).

According to EEA the SEIS concept can be structured along the following four elements:
content (data, information and metadata);
data and information services (input/output);
infrastructure (using Inspire as legal framework for building a European spatial data infrastructure);
organisation and policies (coordination and institutional cooperation at different levels).

Friday, September 19, 2008

Improving Access to Environmental Information - The CEROI Programme

The Cities Environment Reports on the Internet (CEROI) Programme has been developed within the framework of the 1992 UNCDE Earth Summit conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Its purpose is to facilitate access to environmental information for sound decision-making and awareness rising in cities, both locally and worldwide. Traditionally, city-based environmental data can be fragmented and accessible only to a few people. However, access to environmental information is crucial for ensuring relevant policy, responses and building public awareness and empowering urban stakeholders. There are numerous projects all over the world to collect environmental information, develop internationally accepted indicators and evaluate policies for sustainable development. The CEROI Programme aims therefore to put this environmental information into work by providing a concept for easily creating environment reports on the Internet.