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SEIS: Towards a better system for sharing environmental information in the Mediterranean


Written on Monday, June 30th 2014 à 15:49 | Read 517 times





MEDITERRANEAN. Halfway through Horizon 2020, the time has come for a midterm review of the Euro-Mediterranean programme aimed at reducing sources of pollution and the SEIS, a programme designed to improve information sharing between environmental data collection organisations.


SEIS covers Europe and its neighbouring countries including the Southern Mediterranean )(doc PB DR)
SEIS covers Europe and its neighbouring countries including the Southern Mediterranean )(doc PB DR)
Without reliable information on the environment, how can its situation be improved? This question plagues not only experts but also donors as operational programmes cost millions of euros and must result in genuine progress.
 
“It is essential to have information on the environment available and just as important for this information to be shared and compared by the countries concerned,” points out Jean-Pierre Giraud, a programme officer at Plan Bleu for the Mediterranean.
 
The expert assists in the harmonisation of the information-gathering systems of different environmental observatories in Southern Mediterranean countries. “There are solid frameworks in place for gathering information effectively, particularly on domestic waste. The challenge is for these environmental observatories to share their data with other institutions in their country.”
 
This harmonisation process is high on the agenda for Horizon 2020. Launched in 2006 by the European Investment Bank, this programme enables the evaluation of projects aimed at eliminating the principle sources of pollution in the Mediterranean.
 
Within the framework of Horizon 2020, the ENPI-SEIS (Shared Information System in the European Neighbourhood) is intended to improve the harmonisation of environmental data collection and processing. It is coordinated by the European Environment Agency in cooperation with the Mediterranean Action Plan and the Plan Bleu for the Southern Mediterranean.

Cross-referencing data for more effective environmental policies

“An interim review was completed in mid-May 2014. It showed that significant action is required to improve the sharing of environmental information,” says Jean-PIerre Giraud.
 
Without this, improvement policies run the risk of navigating in the dark. Often, it is simply ignorance of the work done by other governments and the absence of coordination that makes it impossible to cross-reference information for a reliable picture of environmental situations.
 
SEIS works in coordination with Regoko, another programme led by Plan Bleu which contributes to the development of national environmental observatories in Southern Mediterranean countries (Morocco and Tunisia).
 
One of the objectives of these national observatories is to improve information sharing between institutions including environmental ministries, statistics institutes and sectoral ministries for water and agriculture, for example.
Harmonisation of the collection of data on domestic waste is one of SEIS's key priorities (photo MN)
Harmonisation of the collection of data on domestic waste is one of SEIS's key priorities (photo MN)




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