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Shared Environmental Information System

At the Seventh Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference (Astana, 2011), ministers decided to develop a Shared Environmental Information Systems (SEIS) across the pan-European region to connect existing databases and make data more accessible.

SEIS facilitates regular environmental assessments and reporting. It links existing data and information flows relevant for national authorities in their monitoring and assessment activities by means of information and communication technologies.

According to the SES princples 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.

In October 2013 the UNECE Committee on Environmental Policy at its nineteenth session reviewed progress in establishing SEIS, based on reports and notes prepared by European Environment Agency. The Committee reviewed the development of SEIS effectiveness and the targets and performance indicators to measure progress on SEIS development across the region. Later, the Working Group on Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, at its sixteenth session (Istanbul, Turkey, 16-17 April 2015), decided that SEIS should facilitate access to data and information produced in common formats and standards, as defined by 67 data sets grouped across seven thematic areas.

New targets and performance

In June 2016, during the Eighth Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference (Batumi, Georgia), ministers reviewed progress in establishing SEIS, including the main achievements and challenges and the way forward. The report on progress in establishing SEIS in support of regular reporting in the pan-European region sums up all the work accomplished since the start of SEIS monitoring.

Full report: EN FR RU

ENI SEIS II East project

On 1 February 2016, the European Environment Agency (EEA) launched the ENI SEIS II East project together with the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). The project is funded by the European Union. The objective of ENI SEIS II East is to continue the implementation of the Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) principles and practices in the Eastern partnership countries. The project is managed by the EEA because of its extensive experience in facilitating cooperation and developing expertise through the European Environmental Information System and Observation Network (Eionet).

A common UNECE-EEA-UNEP approach, in support of national, regional and global reporting on the state of the environment, has been agreed and promoted since 2015. The regular high-level discussions between the UNECE, EEA and UNEP reflect a shared understanding of the challenges and opportunities to establish a regular assessment and reporting process across Europe and Central Asia, in support of SEIS. ENI SEIS II East builds on the synergies between the three partners.

For more information about ENI SEIS II please visit the project website: http://eni-seis.eionet.europa.eu/east 

SEIS Cookbook

The ‘SEIS cookbook’ was prepared by the European Environment Agency (EEA). It is a guide to understanding the concept of Shared Environmental Information System. It is a living document, which is continuously updated with new examples as technology develops and new systems to support sharing of environmental information are introduced. 

The bulk of the cookbook is devoted to case studies which show national and international implementation of SEIS elements, including at the EEA. These examples are collectively used to identify an emerging set of common trends, methods, tools and lessons which have been integrated into the ‘SEIS checklist’. The checklist can be used as a self-assessment tool to measure progress and identify areas that need further development.

SEIS Cookbook (2013): EN FR RU

SEIS Cookbook 2nd edition (2015): English

Mid-term review of progress

At the Batumi Conference in 2016, ministers asked the Committee on Environmental Policy to carry out a mid-term review of the Conference outcomes in 2018. Accordingly, the Working Group on Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, with suppoort from the Joint Task Force on Environmental Statistics and Indicators, developed a SEIS assessment framework on the basis of which the secretariat issued a questionnaire to countries across the pan-European region. On the basis of the completed questionnaires, received from countries, the secretariat drafted a mid-term review repor, which the Working Group adjusted and adopted.

Full report (to be issued in December 2018 for 24th session of the Committee on Environmental Policy)