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Co-operation between EEA and UNEP on environmental information systems in Central and Eastern Europe

European Environment Agency Copenhagen, 10 June, 1996 - Hans Alders, the Regional Director of UNEP, and Domingo Jimenez Beltran, the Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, have agreed on a new phase of co-operation to co-ordinate their Agencies’ activities in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

Following the mandate that the EEA was granted at the Sofia Environment Ministers’ Conference in October 1995, and the advanced state of UNEP’s activities in CEE countries, an integration of these activities has now begun which will greatly benefit and reinforce the work of these two agencies throughout the entire region.

In order to maximise and consolidate existing capacities and resources, EEA and UNEP are proceeding with all reasonable speed to harmonise inasmuch as possible the activities, contacts, structure and technical bases of their respective networks and capacity building programmes. This involves EIONET and its possible extension to Central and Eastern Europe on the part of the Agency (made possible through the funding of the European Commission’s multicountry PHARE programme), and ENRIN on the part of UNEP. This co-operation which is being discussed in this seminar will be to the greater benefit of all European partners, particularly in the CIS, Central and Eastern countries and sub-regions, as well as to EEA and UNEP.

The purpose of this extension of the EEA environment network (EIONET) is to co-ordinate and improve environmental information for use at European level by policy makers and the public.

The UNEP ENRIN programme aims to establish networks and strengthen the data and information management capacities of national and sub-regional environmental institutions. The overall objective is to improve access to environmental data and information and their use in decision-making for sustainable development. The national and sub-regional partners of the programme together provide access not only to an entire network of agencies and institutions, but in particular vitally-needed data and information, which ultimately contribute to improved "state-of-environment" assessments and other types of reporting.

The “extended EIONET”-ENRIN co-operation will lead to a general harmonisation of the two activities. It will cover institutional issues (contact points etc), programmatic issues (joint activities and events) and technical considerations (data standards and networking). This will improve the efficiency of EEA and UNEP activities in Central and Eastern Europe and contribute to the harmonisation of environmental standards across the region.

For further information:

European Environment Agency
David Stanners, Programme Manager
Kongens Nytorv 6
DK-1050 Copenhagen K
Tel. + (45) 33 36 71 00 Fax. + (45) 33 36 71 99

United Nations Environmental Programme UNEP
Ronald G. Witt, Regional Co-ordinator
11, chemin des Anemones
CH-1219 Chatelaine
Tel. + (41 22) 979 9294 Fax. + (41 22) 979 9029

Monday 10 Jun 1996
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