For years the European Commission has been promoting the development of openly accessible environmental information at all levels. The Directive 2003/4/EC on Access to Environmental Information, and the European Spatial Data Infrastructure Directive INSPIRE-2007/2/EC set the legal framework on the subject.
The number of systems, tools, databases, and repositories, as result of this active promotion is substantial. These systems have however been developed for specific uses and purposes. This means, they differ appreciably in anticipated use, type of user addressed, complexity, connectivity, usability, completeness, quality, and other aspects. In addition, the legal obligation to report and monitor throughout the full environmental domain is showing a scattered landscape of different environmental management information systems linked to specifications of the regulatory framework. Since these information systems are intended for common use to support the environmental acquis, aligning these data would be a major benefit.
The challenge is to retrieve information on environmental data scattered about different locations and systems, and to assess examples of best practice of active dissemination of environmental information. And also to explore, develop and test tools for data harvesting and data mining in an effective way to collect environmental data and information.
During the project a series of workshops will be organised. These workshops will be the main interaction with Member State experts and other interested stakeholders/experts. In the workshops interim results of this project will be presented and, even more important, the stakeholders will be consulted.