The project

Promotion of best practices for national environmental information systems and tools for data harvesting at EU level

Service request 3 of ENV D.4/FRA/2016/0003 Requested by DG Environment

Project consortium
Wageningen University and Research (The Netherlands), Epsilon (Greece), Umweltbundesamt GmbH (UBA) (Austria) and COWI (Belgium).

Duration of project: 6-9-2017 till 6-2-2019

Summary

The challenge set by DG ENV is to retrieve information based on all the environmental data spread out in all different locations and systems and to find a way to collect the data in an efficient manner. 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 targeted at the specific specifications in the regulatory framework. It will be a major benefit to align base data used in common for the different environmental acquis.

The overall objective of the project is to define, identify and present best practices of EU and national environmental information management systems and portals which contribute to active dissemination in the EU and its Member States and explore and develop and test tools to use such publically available data through data harvesting and mining. This study aims:

– To identify as much as is feasible all the management systems and resources of environmental data in the EU to select the best practises amongst them according to active dissemination of environmental information;

– To identify criteria from all these very different systems taking into account lessons learnt from the SIIFs pilot exercises, the findings of the Fitness Check on Environmental Monitoring and Reporting and other relevant studies and projects, evaluate in detail a number of selected systems per member state in order to produce a best practices guidance;

– To combine the results of the evaluation and best practices guidance with the available tools for data harvesting and mining, identify user needs and develop from this a demonstrator application for selected use cases which show the potential benefits and also possible obstacles when using such applications.

This project is initiated in particular by action 4 (develop and test tools for data harvesting at EU level) and action 5 (develop guidance and promote best practices for European and national environmental information systems including better access to data in an easy to understand way) of the fitness check on environmental monitoring and reporting.

This study is executed by a team existing of experts with broad experience in European Framework Programme projects, European Service contract projects and commercial projects. All project partners have been involved as project lead or contributing partner in project ranging from policy evaluation and evaluation of impact assessment tools to development of data warehouses and enforcing European and national legislation related to protecting the environment. Furthermore substantial knowledge about environmental reporting obligations and reporting streams does exist in the team due to participation in several EC and EEA working groups.