MITA hosts a two-day train­ing on the har­mon­i­sa­tion p

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

As part of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion INSPIRE Di­rec­tive obli­ga­tions, Mem­ber States are re­quired to cre­ate the nec­es­sary struc­tures for the shar­ing of en­vi­ron­men­tal re­lated spa­tial data. This data is to be made com­pli­ant ac­cord­ing to stan­dards de­fined in the im­ple­ment­ing rules spec­i­fied by the same di­rec­tive. As part of the on­go­ing co-or­di­na­tion and knowl­edge dis­sem­i­na­tion, MITA in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion’s Joint Re­search Cen­tre (JRC), has or­gan­ised a two-day in­for­ma­tion and train­ing ses­sions on the har­mon­i­sa­tion process that leads to mak­ing spa­tial data com­pli­ant.

The in­for­ma­tion and train­ing ses­sions, which were ex­cep­tion­ally de­liv­ered by JRC (Ispra – Italy) rep­re­sen­ta­tives and ex­perts Alexan­der Kot­sev Phd and Vlado Cetl Phd, was very well at­tended by over 70 par­tic­i­pants rep­re­sent­ing Pub­lic Au­thor­i­ties, Gov­ern­ment Agen­cies, Gov­ern­ment Min­istries and the Univer­sity of Malta.

Dur­ing these ses­sions, at­ten­dees were given an in­tro­duc­tion and over­view about the INSPIRE di­rec­tive. Later on dur­ing the first day and also dur­ing the sec­ond day, tech­ni­cal per­son­nel had the op­por­tu­nity to get prac­ti­cal train­ing on how to ac­tu­ally per­form the har­mon­i­sa­tion process with prac­ti­cal demos us­ing real ex­am­ples and re­lated tools.

The INSPIRE Di­rec­tive

In 2007, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment and the Coun­cil in­tro­duced the ‘In­fra­struc­ture for Spa­tial In­for­ma­tion in the Euro­pean Com­mu­nity’ Di­rec­tive 2007/2/EC, com­monly re­ferred to as the INSPIRE Di­rec­tive.

The Di­rec­tive sets gen­eral rules for the es­tab­lish­ment of an in­fra­struc­ture for spa­tial in­for­ma­tion within the EU, that pri­mar­ily aims to im­prove en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­icy mak­ing and data shar­ing across the Union. The Di­rec­tive was trans­posed into Mal­tese leg­is­la­tion, SL 504.89 ‘In­fra­struc­ture For Spa­tial In­for­ma­tion Reg­u­la­tions’ un­der the ‘En­vi­ron­ment And Devel­op­ment Plan­ning Act’ (CAP. 504) in 2013.

Through this di­rec­tive, all the EU en­vi­ron­men­tal poli­cies or ac­tiv­i­ties hav­ing an im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment will be shared, in or­der to pro­vide the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion for de­ci­sion-mak­ing. The di­rec­tive is very im­por­tant when one con­sid­ers that there are around 20% of EU cit­i­zens who live within 50 kilo­me­tres from the bor­ders. Apart from that, 70% of all the fresh wa­ter bod­ies in Europe form part of the trans­bound­ary river basin. Thus, if a prob­lem oc­curs in one coun­try, the oth­ers will most prob­a­bly be af­fected as well.

Where the en­vi­ron­ment is con­cerned, there can­not be bound­aries as de­ci­sions af­fect more than one coun­try. Say for ex­am­ple dur­ing an en­vi­ron­men­tal cri­sis caused by pol­lu­tion or by a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter. More than one coun­try is af­fected and the de­ci­sion mak­ing must be done by all par­ties who are in­volved. For this rea­son, it would be bet­ter if coun­tries can share their in­for­ma­tion so that the best de­ci­sion is taken and in a timely man­ner.

Be­fore the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the INSPIRE Di­rec­tive in 2007, it was very dif­fi­cult to find or­gan­ised spa­tial data, both on a na­tional and EU level. Once the di­rec­tive is fully im­ple­mented, this prob­lem should be elim­i­nated, whereas pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion should be more ef­fi­cient

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