A global setting for European environmental monitoring — measuring what we must manage. EEA International conference, 13-15 May 2009. key conclusions
Worldwide observation systems deliver regular products based on comprehensive data sets of high quality. They provide society with indispensable services for the sustainable management of Earth's resources. There is a clear need to intensify efforts to increase the sustainability, coordination, quality, integration integration, extent and operational capabilities of today's global observing, monitoring and forecasting systems and to demonstrate more effectively how these global systems are vital for the future of society.
Key actions at a global and European level
- Strengthening links between GMES activities, the global observing, monitoring and forecasting programmes and improving their coordination with national and regional in-situ and space activities in Europe.
- Mapping of the provision of common variables and gaps, delivery systems and outputs from existing observing and monitoring programmes against the range of needs of the different end‑users in developed and developing countries and identifying through GMES where earth observations can complement and/or replace existing monitoring and at what cost.
- Placing more attention on increasing effort in critical areas such as carbon budgets, ocean acidification, monitoring of the cryosphere, establishment of reference sites for long-term monitoring, the identification and estimation of biodiversity and linking global observing outputs to socioeconomic data and the economics of ecosystem services.
- Improving policy and funding in Europe for the establishment and maintenance of observing systems for regular data collection and meta-data compilation, in particular through strengthening cross-disciplinary linkages through dialogue between different environmental communities, consolidating and improving existing global and regional in-situ networks and enabling the discovery, rescue, and mobilisation of existing but inaccessible information.
- Intensifying R&D activities in Europe and the development of human potential in the fields of environmental observing, monitoring, forecasting and sensor technology and enhancing the uptake of innovation and technology transfer.
- Improving quality assurance through global data standards harmonisation, quality control and delivery systems through a direct engagement with standard setting bodies and agreements.
- Developing data tagging procedures and standards for citation tracking and securing international agreement for their use in the peer-reviewed literature.
- Securing international agreement for free and open access to environmental data.
- Developing European citizen observing activities using new software, sensors and mobile technologies and reporting agreements to enable near-real-time access.
- Developing and deploying information and materials explaining the relevance and need for GMES, GEO and GEOSS and the continued development of the global observing, monitoring and forecasting programmes, tailored to the needs of different stakeholders and user communities in Europe and more generally.