Future funding announced for Scotland’s Environment Web

date12 March 2015

Scotland’s first dedicated website for environmental data will continue to be supported by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and partners, once the European LIFE+ funding contribution concludes later this year. SEPA’s Chief Executive, James Curran, will make the announcement of future funding for the website (www.environment.scotland.gov.uk) at Understanding the state of the environment – a conference being held by the agency in Edinburgh tomorrow (13 March).

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The Scotland’s Environment Web LIFE+ project has been working closely with partners over the last three and a half years to create a website that provides access to data and information about Scotland’s environment, in a format that is accessible to a wide range of interests. 

Users of Scotland’s Environment website have access to:

  • over 300 openly published data sets and over 2000 information resources published by 11 different organisations;
  • 18 different tools (with some exciting new developments to be released soon) that make it easy for users to not only find the information but to interpret and analyse it if they want to;
  • 2 additional websites in the Scotland’s Environment Web family, that take a more specialised view of the environmental – Scotland’s Soils and Scotland’s Aquaculture.

In addition to these tools, Scotland’s Environment website provides access to reports on the state and quality of the environment, whilst aiming to improve our understanding of the challenges faced by public agencies and the wide range of benefits the environment has to offer all sectors of society. 

Of particular interest may be:

David Pirie, SEPA Executive Director, said:

There are so many people interested in environmental data, from young people who want to know what is happening around their school and home, to those who rely on a high quality environmental data for their business, to community volunteers seeking to protect and improve the environment. With so many organisations holding data, some of it very technical and complex, the real challenge was to create a website that would work for everyone and enable them to make better use of the vast quantities of published data.  

“The European LIFE + funding has allowed SEPA and partners to be innovative in our approach and demonstrate new digital data solutions to common challenges, in areas there we might not have had the opportunity to do otherwise.

“It’s an exciting time to be working in this area, given the pace of change in new digital technologies and new software options that will let us widen out our offering even more.  This continued funding means that we can now establish a comprehensive data and information resource for anyone who is personally or professionally interested in protecting and improving Scotland’s Environment” 

The conference

The Understanding the state of the environment conference, which is also being streamed worldwide to over 700 online attendees, includes workshops on running a Life + project, how to engage young people and get people involved in monitoring the environment, and explores new ways of interacting with data from a range of difference sources.

Speakers include representatives from the European Environment Agency to talk about their report The European Environment – state and outlook 2015 which was published on 3 March.

A live link to the conference is available via webcast for anyone wishing to view the presentations between 10.30hrs to 12.45hrs. After this time, recordings of all presentations and information from workshops will published and made available to view at your leisure. 

Ends

Notes to editors

Scotland’s Environment website: www.environment.scotland.gov.uk
Scotland’s Soils website: www.soils-scotland.gov.uk
Scotland’s Aquaculture website: aquaculture.scotland.gov.uk

The live webcast will include presentations from:

  • Paul McAleavey and Cathy Maguire of the European Environment Agency on their report The European Environment – state and outlook 2015
  • SEPA’s Nathan Critchlow Watton on how the Scotland’s state of the environment report was complied
  • SEPA’s Jo Muse on Scotland’s Environment Web LIFE+ project

Scotland’s Environment Web partners:

  • British Geological Survey
  • Education Scotland 
  • Forestry Commission Scotland
  • Health Protection Scotland
  • Historic Scotland 
  • Keep Scotland Beautiful
  • Marine Scotland
  • NHS Scotland
  • Scottish Environment Protection Agency 
  • Scottish Natural Heritage
  • The Conservation Volunteers
  • The James Hutton Institute
  • The Scottish Government

Further details on all the partners, and a note of contributing organisations is available at www.environment.scotland.gov.uk/about-us/scotlands-environment-partners/                      


European Commission LIFE+ funding programme

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

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/funding/lifeplus.htm


Enquiries

For enquiries and interview requests relating to Scotland’s Environment Website, these can be arranged via SEPA’s media team on 01786 45 25 65.

For enquiries or interview requests with the European Environment Agency, please contact Iben Stanhardt on iben.stanhardt@eea.europa.eu or +45 33 36 71 68.