Sunday 26 September 2010

EPA's Environment in Focus online indicators site launched

Mr. John Gormley, TD, Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government attended the launch of the EPA’s new Environment in Focus website.

The environmental indicators’ website was launched at the annual Environment Ireland conference held last week in the Croke Park Convention Centre.

Environment in Focus allows easier public access to environmental data that has been gathered by the EPA and external bodies. Information is presented as a dashboard of key environmental indicators arranged under seven themes - climate change, air, water, waste, land, nature and socio-economics.

Speaking at the launch, Dr Mary Kelly, Director General, EPA, said - “Environment in Focus has been designed to provide concise, up-to-date information about the Irish environment for the general public and policymakers.

"Presented in an accessible format, this website is a clear advance on paper-based indicator reporting. It allows the EPA to fulfil certain EU reporting obligations in close to real-time, while providing environmental assessments to stakeholders in a format that is useable for them.

"The website is the culmination of extensive collaboration between EPA staff and external organisations in compiling key datasets on the Irish environment.”

In relation to the environmental indicators, Dr Kelly said - “The indicators demonstrate that Ireland faces particular challenges in meeting international obligations in relation to climate change, water quality, biodiversity protection and waste management. These indicators should provide valuable information for policymakers both in developing new policies and in evaluating existing ones. We also hope that they will allow for a more informed wider debate on the steps required to protect Ireland’s environment.”

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