INSPIRE 2010 Conference (23 June, Plenary Session) Krakow, Poland

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Wednesday Plenary session continued

INSPIRE Evolution of the Environmental Acquis.
Hugo de Groof

EU 6th Environmental Action Programme 2002-2012

Four Priorities

1. Climate Change
2. Nature and Biodiversity
3. Environment and Health
4. Natural resources and waste

Seven Thematic Strategies

1. Clean Air For Europe (CAFE)
2. Soil protection
3. Sustainable use of pesticides
4. Marine environment
5. Waste prevention and recycling
6. Sustainable use of natural resources
7. Urban environment

*Mitigation of natural and man-made hazards leading to disasters with focus on ‘knowledge-based’ policy making and assessment.

Summary of requirements:

  • Integrated Assessments
  • Policy Effectiveness
  • Policy Compliance
  • Policy Implementation

Data sources required for integrated assessments and policy effectiveness.

About monitoring economic development against protecting the environment and meeting social goals using these following indicators:

1. Economic development
2. Poverty and social exclusion
3. Ageing society
4. Public Health
5. Climate change and energy
6. Production and consumption patterns
7. Management of natural resources
8. Transport
9. Good governance
10. Global partnership

Environment doesn’t stop at the borders.

  • 20% of the EU citizens (110 million) live within 50 km from a border.
  • 60 million EU citizens live less than half an hour (25 km) from a border

Flood hazards as an example. 10 million people live in areas liable to extreme flooding, potential damage estimated at 165 billion euros.

Environment and Health

  • 20 million Europeans suffer from respiratory problems every day
  • 10% of European children suffer from asthma
  • Soils Thematic Strategy against erosion and contamination.
  • Pesticides Directive (buffer zones near sensitive areas).
  • Noise Directive

Issues – Data deficits

  • Numerous indicators sets available, mostly aimed at environment or health, except WHO-EHIS

• No shared institutional infrastructure
• Differences in indicator definitions and construction (geographical scale, age groups, diagnosis, time periods)
• Differences in data collection/ reporting systems
• Lack of harmonised data quality control
• Limitations of international reporting mechanisms in providing EH relevant data
• Many different dataholders/reporting obligations


  • Streamlining legal requirements

– Over-arching EU legislation which impacts on the sharing of data and information
– Information content & reporting in legislation related to the environment

  • Building more efficient data and information sharing infrastructures
  • Ensure availability of ‘fit-for-purpose’ data underpinning environmental information through adequate monitoring

Comment: A number of critical issues to address, but certainly this data deficit is significant. INSPIRE requires metadata creation to be completed at the end of 2010 for Annex I and II theme data, so how far are we from this reality, and does this bring us closer to accessing and using more data?

Lack of harmonisation in terms of data and infrastructure portends potential problems ahead? So much discussion last year and this about data transformation, harmonisation of data and systems and INSPIRE has been a reality since 2001, but with the INSPIRE Directive coming into force recently in May 2007,  so it has set out an ambitious course over just a few years. The first INSPIRE conference was held in 2007, and certainly an important venue to bring ideas together and receive updates about SDI and metadata activities across Europe. It’s very encouraging to see so many in attendance here.

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