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Sharing Environmental Information

Sharing Environmental Information

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Sharing Environmental Information

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  1. Sharing Environmental Information Some Experiences in the Netherlands. Onno M. Knol, Laurens J. Brandes and C. Wim M. van der Maas

  2. Outline of presentation • Starting Point – The Principles of SEIS • Our Main Questions • National Environmental Information Systems (NEIS): Two examples: Purposes and features, demo • Are We Succesfull? • Information pyramid (What for Whom?) • How? (preconditions, design considerations) • Lessons learned • Conclusions, Advises and Ideas • Questions ? Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  3. SEIS Principles Environmental Information should be … • managed as close as possible to its source; • collected once, and shared with others for many purposes; • readily available to public authorities and enable them to easily fulfill their legal reporting obligations; • readily accessible to end-users, primarily public authorities at all levels from local to European, to enable them to assess in a timely fashion the state of the environment and the effectiveness of their policies, and to design new policy; • accessible to enable end-users, both public authorities and citizens, to make comparisons at the appropriate geographical scale (e.g. countries, cities, catchment areas) and to participate meaningfully in the development and implementation of environmental policy; • fully available to the general public, after due consideration of the appropriate level of aggregation and subject to appropriate confidentiality constraints, and at national level in the relevant national language(s) • information sharing and processing should be supported through common, free opensource software tools. (Source: COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS Towards a Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) February 2008 “SEIS will build upon the information and systems that already exist in the Member States and at European level, adapting them as required to new demands and standards.” Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  4. The Key Questions for this presentation • How does SEIS relate to National Environmental Information Systems? • How can SEIS be made suitable for the wide public? Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  5. Example 1 Public website PRTR Purposes: • Increase involvement of the public in the validation of emission data • Inform the public about emission-sources in their neighborhood Features • Bilingual • Unique integration of point sources and diffuse emissions • Integrated compartments (air, air IPCC, soil, water indirect (emission) and direct (load) • Maps per emission source, 5*5 km grid, per community (municipalities), water catchment area etc. • Background info on methodologies used • Detailed export facilities DEMO Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  6. Example 2 The Environmenta Data Compendium Features • 700 Indicators • Structured in Topics, Dossiers and Pages • Graphs with concise messages & explanation • Policy relevance:Distance to Targets. • Wide range: Driving forces, Pressures, Emissions, Impacts, Nature quality, Responses • Topics: from Climate Change to Loss of Biodiversity Purpose • Present an up-to-date resource of Facts & Figures on Environmental Issues • Primarily for policy makers, Secondary for researches and general public DEMO Offline demo Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  7. Are We Successful? • Web statistics • Feedback & Questions • Internet Usability Test Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  8. Goal PRTR = QA/QC by the public Web statistics show: • 1500 visitors per month • 80% professional users • 20% from abroad • 150 requests for additional data • 15 corrections last 12 months Internet Usability Test shows: “Too complex and to detailed for the general public” Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  9. EDC - Foreign Interest in national websites • Growing visitor numbers : • now 18.000 per month • Pageviews and visitors of international EDC pages: max 10 % of national. • Indicators often appear in press • High communicative value • High maintenance costs Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  10. Information pyramid for Environmental informationin the Netherlands (adaptation from World resource institute 1995) Main target group: Debate, media, press, TV Citizens Head-Lines One-Llners, Images Movies Integrated Assessments Policy makers Environmental Balance, Environmental Outlook Policy makers and researchers Indicators www.environmentaldata.nl Registers and databases Researchers Local authorities & Companies Pollutant Release and Transfer Register www.prtr.nl Monitoring Researchers Statistics, surveys, measurements, case studies Jiri’s Pyramid Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  11. Successful Environmental Communication • Abstraction level and Level of detail of Content must be adjusted to • Target group • Medium and format • Goal(s) • Other factors • Quality of data • Authority & Credibility • Structuring Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  12. Can Emission data be Hot News? CO2 emissions China now larger than the U.S. Since 2006, China’s CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel use and industrial processes (cement production) have been larger than the emissions of the USA. With approximately 8% higher emissions than the USA, China now tops the list of CO2-emitting countries. In 2005, the CO2 emissions of China were still 2% below those of the USA.. Link Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  13. Example of an Indicator with public Interest Average temperatures in the world and in the Netherlands, 1900-2002 The average temperature in De Bilt was approximately 1 °C higher in the last 20 years than at the start of the 20th century. The global increase was approximately 0.6 °C. Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  14. Relevant Abstraction level for policy makers Red Lists Some of the species are under so much pressure that they have been classified on the Red List. Many Red Listed species show further decline. As a result, the number of species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies on the Red List increased during the past decade.. Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  15. Abstraction Level for General public: .. Appealing facts … Fish: stocks in the North Sea The size of the fry stocks of four commercial fish species: sole, plaice, cod and herring. By contrast with the biomass of cod, the fry stocks of herring have, in recent years, recovered due to the catch restrictions that have been introduced. Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  16. … Or Appealing Species ? The common seal and the grey seal in the Waddenzee and Delta area The seal population has increased greatly in recent years, but the epidemic of virus disease in 2002 resulted in a downturn. Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  17. Lessons learned with Environmental Information systems in the Netherlands • Databases systems are indispensable … • … but expertise is required to extract the desired information. • Even with a tailored User-Interface, it is difficult to meet every information need. • Web statistics show that most users of the PRTR and EDC are professionals. Other websites, maintained by NGOs, offer information that is better tailored to the practical needs of the general public. • The EDC is very communicative in providing insight in discrete environmental issues. While primarily aimed at policymakers, the press and the general public shows much interest in this kind of information. • Ordering in overlapping structures is needed (several search paths leading to the right answer) • Quality is vital. A scientific basis and expert approval are quality marks. • Up to date …. • Even for experts, Information should be presented in a form that is understandable to non-experts. • Maintenance of large Information systems is costly. • Are English versions cost - effective? • Formats and protocols (methods) before implementing SEIS….(PRTR taskforces on methods, IPCC-guidelines, SEBI, EBD, red list…) Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  18. Environ- mental Data To prevent Overload of data Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  19. Conclusions & advises • Providing both policymakers, researchers and the general public with adequate information, coming from one environmental information system, is difficult, if not impossible. • From a communicative point of view, combining various levels of the pyramid into one information system, is a real challenge. • Advise A: To determine first what kind of information is suitable and needed for each target group • Advise B: To provide each target group with its own information stream, despite the extra costs and efforts involved. • Advise C: To give proper Attention to the Higher Levels Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  20. Questions ? • Thanks for your attention ! Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  21. Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  22. The Pyramid upside down ? National EIS, Policy Makers National EIS, Public National EIS, Profs API, toolboxes, facilities, Support, Funding Shared European Database (SEIS) National Data Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  23. Jiri’s Pyramid Back Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  24. Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  25. Start offline demo EDC & PRTR Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  26. Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  27. Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  28. Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  29. Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  30. Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  31. PRTR DEMO Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  32. PRTR – Sulphur Emission Graph Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  33. PRTR Sulphur Emission map Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas

  34. End of offline Demo • Back to presentation Sharing Environmental Information at Various Hierarchical levels of Abstraction Knol, Brandes & Van der Maas