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29-30 June 2020 | EU support gives Armenia better access to information about water resources

Countries: Armenia

Water experts from Armenia and the EEA held two days’ of online capacity development training for managing EcoPortals. The training focused on sharing environmental information, including that on water — a resource vital for all life on our planet, ecosystems, society and the economy. This capacity building is in line with the EU’s objectives of promoting greener development and digitalisation in the Eastern Partnership region.

As Armenia is one of the water-scarce countries in the region, water use efficiency and protection of freshwater ecosystems are vital. The EcoPortal of Armenia will support sharing data and information among the water agencies to underpin knowledge-based policymaking in the country.

With the support from the EU, Armenia’s water quality data have been harmonised in line with the Water Information System for Europe (WISE) water quality data dictionary. It is now compatible with the European dataset. Similarly, the indicators based on water quality data and published on the EcoPortal follow the EEA’s indicator template. That means that comparison between data for Armenia and any EU Member State or peer country in the Eastern Partnership region can be made, for instance on nutrients in freshwater.

The system’s functionalities and the design of the EcoPortal are inspired by WISE, on which all EU Member States report their water data and share information. The EcoPortal presents water datasets, indicators, dynamic maps and reports. It allows data and information to be exchanged and shared among the national water agencies in line with SEIS principles and practices. Citizens, experts, practitioners and academics can now access various databases and compare national data with EU Member States’ data, as Armenia’s water quality data are fully aligned with the European dataset. 

The indicator set developed also enables the public to get information on water availability and the quality of water they rely on in their daily lives and the economy underpinning their wealth and prosperity depends on.

The EcoPortal will also help Armenia to meet its reporting obligation to regional and international commitments such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

As a starting point, the EcoPortal hosts water data and information but also a small component of biodiversity, i.e. an indicator on protected areas. The EcoPortal holds sufficient technical facility to expand its content to other environmental areas in the near future. 

The event was covered by the Delegation of the European Union to Armenia | Ministry of Environment  in English and Armenian | Statistical Committee of the Republic of Armenia in English and Armenian