The availability of integrated, relevant, high-quality, timely and easily accessible environmental information provides the means for assessing environmental status and the foundation for meaningful and informed environmental governance. Timely, relevant, reliable and easily accessible environmental information is also essential to efforts to inform citizens about the quality of their environment, raising their awareness in that regard and enabling them to defend their basic right to live in a healthy and safe environment.
At the Seventh Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference in 2011, Ministers requested that a Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) be developed to underpin a regular environment assessment process across the pan-European region. More recently, at the Eighth Environment for Europe Conference in 2016, Ministers welcomed progress in developing SEIS, but reiterated the need for countries to continue their efforts and to develop further their national information systems to have SEIS in place in the countries of Europe and Central Asia by 2021.
This publication introduces SEIS and relevant governance arrangements at the international level, presents the process for reviewing progress in the establishment of SEIS, sets out the results of two progress reports and identifies next steps.