Data collection for environmental indicators in Germany


Courtesy of Federal Environment Ministry

Why do we publish environmental data and environmental indicators? In order to inform the public about the state of our environment, for political decisionmakers, to help them in the planning and implementation of environmental policies, and for the media, to draw attention to national and global environmental problems.

Current, comprehensive and scientifically based environmental data form the essential basis for all these activities. There are many different sources: a wealth of data is collected by Federal, Land and municipal authorities as well as by research facilities and independent institutes in the framework of measurement and monitoring programmes, research projects, scientific investigations and official statistics.

Environmental indicators are theme-based “signposts in the jungle” of environmental data. They consist in part of highly aggregated parameters, enabling the development of the environmental situation to be more clearly understood. They describe pollution trends and reveal where there is a need for action on environmental policy, as well as its successes and the contribution it is making to sustainable development. For this purpose, environmental trends are evaluated on the basis of the environmental objectives defined by the German government and in international agreements.

The published indicators and texts have been taken from the Federal Environment Agency’s core environmental indicators. We would like to thank all those participating authorities who have assisted in evaluating the indicators and in ensuring their topicality.

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