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EEA participates in major international initiative on environmental information exchange

NEWS RELEASE Copenhagen, 7 February 2000

EEA participates in major international initiative on environmental information exchange

A major international initiative aimed at breaking down linguistic barriers to environmental information exchange among nations has been launched . Meeting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) of Italy, the European Environment Agency (EEA), the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), agreed to collaborate on the development of a global multilingual environmental thesaurus.

The EEA Executive Director Domingo Jimenez-Beltran said that this initiative "will increase access to timely, relevant, and reliable information on the environment by a wide range of language groups that are currently impeded by linguistic barriers.”
Having a common vocabulary on the environment will assist in the development of environmental information systems and the retrieval of environmental information from the Web and other electronic resources. Database developers, librarians, and translators will find this tool to be a valuable asset to their work. Environmental decision makers and the general public will profit from greater access to global information systems.

This thesaurus will see the convergence of the EEA's GEMET and UNEP's EnVoc thesauri, supplemented by EPA's international activities in environmental terminology with both these organizations and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). The CNR will continue its leading international role as a multilingual thesaurus developer for this new venture.

The four cooperating institutions envision that other partners will join this consortium arrangement and contribute to this collaboration. As a result, other language groups will benefit from having access to a standard environmental vocabulary in multiple languages. The global thesaurus can be customized by partners to meet national or sub-regional needs.

The current terminology systems are available at three Internet sites: http://www.epa.gov/trs, http://www.mu.niedersachsen.de/CDs/etc-cds_neu/software/html#GEMET and http://p5uni.ii.pw.edu.pl/infterra/

For further information, please contact EEA Project Managers Paolo Meozzi (+45 33 36 71 02 paolo.meozzi@eea.europa.eu) or Sigfus Bjarnason +45 33 36 71 14 sigfus.bjarnason@eea.europa.eu)



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European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100