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Indicators and Assessments

Environmental assessment is the assessment of the environmental consequences (positive and negative) of a plan, policy, program, or concrete projects prior to the decision to move forward with the proposed action.   EEA assessments present key information and/or an integrated assessment of the state of the environment, the pressures, driving forces and societal responses. The European Environment Agency (EEA) publishes a report on the state of, trends in and prospects for the environment every five years. To date, the EEA has produced  state of the environment reports (SOER) in 1995, 1999, 2005, 2010, 2015. The next SOER 2020 is due in 2020.  

Environmental indicators are essential tools for assessing environmental trends, tracking progress against objectives and targets, evaluating the effectiveness of policies and communicating complex phenomena.  The EEA Indicators are designed to answer key policy questions and to support all phases of environmental policy making, from designing policy frameworks to setting targets, and from policy monitoring and evaluation to communicating to policy-makers and the public. The EEA publishes a wide range of assessments based on indicators reports: SOER, signals-style publications, factsheets and country profiles.

The EEA's Indicator Management System (IMS) currently contains 127 indicators, covering 22 environmental topics.  The Core Set of Indicators (CSI), which is under revision, prioritises improvements in the quality and coverage of data flows, streamlines contributions to international indicator initiatives, and provides a basis for indicator-based assessments of progress against environmental policy priorities. Many of the core set indicators are used in international indicator processes, notably at the European Commission, OECD, WHO and UNECE. The set is often used as a model for indicator sets at country level. 

The indicators maintained by the European Environment Agency including definitions of the thematic sets of indicators managed by the EEA, is available on the About indicators page.  A comprehensive guide to EEA indicators “Digest of EEA indicators 2014” focused on the Core Set of Indicators (CSI) explains 'what we have, why we have it, and how it can be used' and places them in the wider landscape of European environmental indicators. 

UNECE Joint Task Force revised the Guidelines for the Application of Environmental Indicators in Eastern Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia and South-Eastern Europe and compiled an online version of the Guidelines , where each indicator is presented with description, table for the production, and glossary of terms. 

Documents

 

  State of Play of Availability of the UNECE core set of indicators

 

State of Play of Availability of Environment/Assessments reports

Eurostat: Communicating through indicators

Eurostat: Environmental Indicators Catalogue

UNSD Basic set of environment statistics

UNECE About Environmental Monitoring and Assessment