The Minister, Guro Fjellanger,
senior ministry officials together with GRID-Arendal staff.
The Minister stated that the Ministry will continue their co-operation with GRID-Arendal in connection with SoE reporting on the Internet.
Mrs. Fjellanger believed it would be particularly useful to use UNEP's GRID network for continued international dissemination of Norwegian environmental information. Svein Tveitdal underlined UNEP's interest in using successful "Norwegian models", such as SoE-Norway on the Internet, within other countries.
The Norwegian Ministry of Environment is planning to increase their use of the Internet in dissemination of environmental information, and is currently in co-operation with the Norwegian State Pollution Control and other Norwegian Environmental Directorates preparing a system with comprehensive on-line access to relevant Norwegian environmental information from the various sectors. Special emphasis will be given to connect environmental information to the decision making processes.
Mr Svein Tveitdal, GRID-Arendal Managing Director, and other key staff members took the opportunity to inform Minister Fjellanger of GRID's other activities in making environmental information available. Special emphasis was placed on developments in SoE reporting. Examples of GRID-Arendal activities were also given from the Polar regions and from Central and Eastern Europe.
With support from the UNEPnet Implementation Centre, hosted by GRID-Arendal, Guro Fjellanger took the opportunity to talk to leaders from UNEP's headquarters in Nairobi using state of the art video conferencing technology. The new UNEP Deputy Executive Director from Pakistan, Mr. Shafqat Kakakhel, conveyed his greetings to the Minister from the headquarters in Nairobi. Mr Kakakhel together with his colleagues, Acting Director Division of Environmental Information and Assessment, Mr Dan Claasen and Chief UNEPnet, Mr. Barry Henricksen, expressed their satisfaction with this new, efficient communication line, pointing out that this was the first official video conference from Nairobi using the UNEPnet system.
The Minister Guro Fjellanger in friendly discussion
with GRID director Svein Tveitdal
UNEP's Deputy ED made special mention of the excellent model the Norway had provided, through its initiation, and continued support to, GRID-Arendal. Mrs. Fjellanger, a key member of the recent United Nations Task Force on Environment and Human Settlements, thanked UNEP for their input to the days proceedings and wished Mr Kakakhel good luck with his new appointment in UNEP.
Friday August 14th, Guro Fjellanger, the Norwegian Minister of Environment, visited GRID-Arendal to review its progress.
The Minister, accompanied by senior officials from her Ministry, held broad discussions with experts from GRID-Arendal, on the use of the Internet in State of the Environment reporting and the implementation of the Norwegian supported UNEPnet programme.
Photos: Copyright: Agderposten.
The Minister with Dir. Svein Tveitdal
The Minister and some of the GRID-Arendal staff