Executive Director of UNEP,
Elizabeth Dowdeswell, hands over the UN flag
to Dr Ferenc Baja at the opening ceremony
The national node in Hungary is hosted by the Ministry of Environment and Regional Policy (MERP) in Budapest.
Ms. Dowdeswell welcomed the establishment of the new centre, "GRID-Budapest". "This is a fine example of international development cooperation. We now have an even greater capacity to assess the state of the environment", she said.
UNEP conceived of both the global resource information database and a related environmental and natural resource information networking and capacity building programme as a means to strengthen cooperative global environmental assessment. The Ministry for Environment and Regional Policy of Hungary agreed to become an integral partner in this process. The necessary resources to undertake a GRID facility feasibility assessment was provided by the Government of Norway.
The establishment of GRID-Budapest in addition to the MERP's own resources, has also been financially supported by the Inter-Ministerial Information Committee of the Hungarian Prime Minister's Office and the European Union. The costs of its operation and professional programmes are covered by the MERP and the Swiss Government's donation. The networking, capacity assessment and establishment of the facility was technically supported by GRID-Arendal, a companion GRID centre located in Norway under a UNEP initiated project for Central and Eastern Europe.
Signing of the agreement
GRID-Budapest will contribute to the international data exchange and analysis process particularly in relation to national and international database networking activities, creating a framework for a national geographic database and contribute to the compilation of an environmental data catalogue to a common GRID standard. GRID-Budapest was instrumental in producing a version of the current Hungarian national state-of-the-environment (SOE) report for the Internet, contributing significantly to the dissemination of useful and policy oriented environmental information in the new media. A version will be produced on compact disc for dissemination to schools and other institutions. The Internet presentation was launched at the inauguration.
Nationally, GRID-Budapest will work to streamline national environmental information management and environmental reporting requirements. Its core function will be to undertake national SOE reporting, creation of national data environmental databases and maintenance of a directory on the type, location and sources of environmental data available in the country.
Through a worldwide network of collaborating centres, UNEP/GRID facilitates the generation and dissemination of key statistical and geographically referenced data sets as well as information products focusing on environmental and natural resource issues. Operational since 1985, GRID assists UNEP and its partners by contributing scientific data and information as a basis for decision making on environmental issues of international significance.
UNEP's Executive Director welcomes GRID-BUDAPEST as twelvth node
Speech delivered by UNEP Executive Director Elizabeth Dowdeswell
Speech delivered by GRID-Arendal Director Svein Tveitdal
State of the Environment Hungary
State of the Environment Hungary
UNEP Press release - GRID Budapest