MITA hosts a two-day training on the harmonisation p
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