The European Commission proposed a new pan-European Shared Environment Information System (SEIS) today. SEIS would take a system of systems approach to tie together data and information from all member states using the Internet and satellite technology. The centralized environmental reporting system is seen as a priority given that there are a large number of legislative initiatives that require the collection and reporting of environmental data, but no centralized way to report it.
The approach is a decentralized, but integrated web service, with each country and agency maintaining their own data but sharing through a single portal. The idea is to enable real-time data sharing for decision making.
The statement also discusses needed response to environmental challenges such as water scarcity and preservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. For instance, one capability of the new system would be to evaluate the statistics of air quality, population and health statistics overlapped for a specific region or geography in order to analyze this information and take action.
SEIS is moving forward from this vision to reality, with a detailed implementation plan slated for later this year. It will be built on efforts already being undertaken in Europe to create integrated information systems. These include the Water Information System for Europe (WISE) and the European environment information and observation network (EIONET), the 2007 INSPIRE Directive on access and interoperability of spatial data, and the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative on Earth monitoring data from satellites.
There is no integrated platform to connect all these initiatives into a shared and common system. SEIS aims to fill in this gap.