An Environmental Information System (EIS) is defined as a coordinated assemblage of people, devices or other resources designed to exchange data or knowledge concerning any aspect of the ecosystem, the natural resources within or, more generally, the external factors surrounding and affecting human life.
[source: GEMET, General Multilingual Environmental Thesaurus]
In the first workshop an EIS is defined in short as:
‘An EIS is a group of components that interact to produce information about the environment. Components can be maps, data visualisation, clear information’
EISs are evaluated for each country. The country fiches are a product of an evaluation carried out mainly in 2018 with the objective to assess the maturity of active dissemination of environmental information in EU Member States. The examination and evaluation of active dissemination was by reference to a set of precise EU environmental legislative and policy frameworks. These have high overall importance and are representative, but they are not the totality of environmental information that is covered by the EU environmental acquis.
It is not excluded that, in the Member State, levels of active dissemination will be different outside of the specific areas examined. Moreover, the project aims to retrieve information on environmental data spread out in different locations and systems and to explore ways to collect this data in the most efficient manner.
Targeted collection of environmental data through active dissemination could lower the administrative reporting burden in the Member States. Currently, the legal obligation to report and monitor throughout the full environmental domain shows a scattered landscape of different environment information systems targeted at specific regulatory monitoring and reporting obligations.
As a starting point, the situation for every Member State was analysed and summarised in a country fiche in which the current situation (2018 or earlier) on governance, content, sharing and usability performance of the national environmental systems are described. The countries were invited to provide feedback, the comments were resolved resulting in these country fiche.
The country fiches are linked to the preparation of the guidance document for good practices for national environmental information systems.