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LIFE+ funding

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The LIFE+ programme is the European Union's funding instrument for the environment. The general objective of LIFE is to contribute to the implementation, updating and development of EU environmental policy and legislation.

Scotland's Environment Web is an innovative partnership between a wide range of organisations involved in environmental protection and improvement in Scotland. In 2010 SEPA successfully applied to the European Commission on behalf of Scotland’s Environment Web partners for funding to support and develop this initiative. The EU awarded 2.35 million Euros, this figure is being matched by SEPA. The project will run from September 2011 to August 2015.

The initial bid was revised and resubmitted in May 2012. The project has undertaken two progress reporting cycles, submitting an inception report to the EU in May 2012 and a mid-term report in August 2013.

The project has four key objectives:

To develop an inclusive partnership programme bringing together the key data providers and data users to develop the Scotland's Environment Web
To help promote the expansion of a European SEIS (Shared Environmental Information System) that makes available data on Europe’s environment. Scotland will have implemented Scotland's Environment Web, a Regional SEIS, as an example of European best practice in reporting which, in particular, will provide information required by the EEA
To improve the effectiveness of policy development and the targeting of environmental measures by providing a better understanding of the wider impacts of environmental change. Scotland's Environment Web will have developed a means of prioritising environmental problems based on environmental, economic, and social information (e.g. for climate adaptation)
To engage the public by providing access to high quality on-line interactive resources to promote better understanding of the environment, public debate on environmental priorities, public monitoring of the environment and public activity to protect and improve the environment

Scotland’s Environment Web has committed to 25 Actions which will successfully deliver these objectives.

The LIFE+ Project News and Updates page provides information on project events, activities and deliverables.

The Publications page provides access to project publications and reports.

Scotland’s Environment Web project

Through the establishment of an extensive network of environmental data providers and users, the partnership aims to bring together information on Scotland’s environment so that it is easily available and in a usable form.

Scotland's Environment website provides access to data and information held and managed by a wide range of organisations across Scotland. It is the start of a long term commitment to develop a new, modern and dynamic approach to presenting information by moving away from static, point-in-time reports, to a website where the most up-to-date environmental information is provided.

Between September 2011 and March 2015, the LIFE project funding will be used to further develop Scotland’s Environment Web, so that it provides much more than information on a website. The LIFE funding will be used to build on the existing website, and aim to:

  • build a platform for shared services and achieve efficiency savings by developing a range of online applications to facilitate a more streamlined approach to the provision and use of environmental information and data;
  • deliver an advanced environmental information system that provides a single point of access to data on Scotland’s environment, and improves priority data stream reporting to Europe;
  • improve sharing, analysis and presentation of environmental information through an enhanced network of partnerships between interested organisations, businesses, groups and individuals;
  • improve understanding of Scotland's environment through research and advanced analysis on collected data;
  • improve methods of identifying and prioritising environmental problems, and targeting measures to manage and improve Scotland’s environment;
  • develop citizen science initiatives and promote public involvement in the process of collecting data and observations;
  • allow the public to pro-actively engage on environmental issues.

The project has been broken down into 5 workstreams:

The project management workstream is responsible for the organisation and control of the project by developing execution plans for project implementation, project coordination, reporting to the European Commission and managing resources including recruitment where necessary.

The public engagement workstream identifies the public interest in environmental data, informing the partnership on how to present information and data in in a way that will promote better understanding and engagement with the environment, promoting public involvement in data collecting and monitoring and initiating public debate in environmental priorities.

The information systems (IS) workstream establishes a standard and develops applications to support new information. IS will make data available on Scotland's Environment web by accessing data held by different organisations, then once information has been delivered it is essential that it can be maintained as required by those responsible for it through best practice and IT systems development.

The science workstream fills environmental data gaps, presents data analysis, interpretation and review while defining the effectiveness of environmental improvement measures.

The communication workstream has responsibility for promoting Scotland's Environment Web through a number of methods including networking with other projects, noticeboards, brochures, newsletters, events and videos.