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What is SEIS?

The Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) is a collaborative approach aiming to organise environmental information based on key principles:

 

Information should be:

  1. Managed as close as possible to its source.
  2. Collected once and shared with others for many purposes.
  3. Readily available to easily fulfil reporting obligations.
  4. Easily accessible to all users.
  5. Accessible to enable comparisons at the appropriate geographical scale and the participation of citizens.
  6. Fully available to the general public and at national level in the relevant national language(s).
  7. Supported through common, free, open software standards.
SEIS is also about a shift in approach, from individual countries or regions reporting data to specific international organisations, to creating online systems with services that make information available for multiple users — both people and machines. Such a shift happens in a stepwise matter, ensuring that SEIS remains a driver for access to environmental information and its integration in the knowledge-based economy.

The implementation of SEIS is underpinned by three main pillars:

  • Cooperation: building partnerships between the providers and users of data and information;
  • Content: generating policy-relevant and comparable information;
  • Infrastructure: using shared and modern web-based information and communication technologies.
More information on the history of SEIS and how it is implemented across Europe can be found at: https://www.eea.europa.eu/about-us/what/shared-environmental-information-system-1

  

In the pan-European setting, Ministers decided in 2011 at the Seventh Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in Astana that the pan-European environment should be kept under review by establishing a regular process of environmental assessment and developing a Shared Environmental Information Systems (SEIS) across the region. In accordance with that decision, the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Committee on Environmental Policy tasked the Working Group on Environmental Monitoring and Assessment with the review of progress in the establishment of SEIS. The 'Report on progress in establishing the Shared Environmental Information System in support of regular reporting in the pan-European region', presented at the Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in Batumi, Georgia (June 2016), is available at https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2016/ece/ece.batumi.conf.2016.8.e.pdf

The Ministerial Declaration of the Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference states that (para. 10) "... countries are invited to continue their efforts and to further develop their national information systems to have SEIS in place in the countries of Europe and Central Asia by 2021". https://www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/env/documents/2016/ece/ece.batumi.conf.2016.2.add.1.e.pdf