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200 issues of building an evidence-base for environmental policy

The European Commission’s free news alert service Science for Environment Policy reaches an important milestone today, 17 June 2010, publishing its 200th issue. The issue features a special foreword from the Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik, who highlights the value of the service for policy makers who need to keep up-to-date with the latest scientific findings.

Science for Environment Policy was first established in 2006 to help environmental policy makers make better use of new scientific evidence in their work. The weekly news alert features a selection of scientific studies that have each been ‘translated’ into an easy-to-understand summary that is firmly placed within a policy context. Today’s issue features studies on a range of topics including: a new method of low-carbon product design, policy recommendations for curbing biodiversity loss and tracking the progress of implementing the UN’s chemicals classification and labelling scheme. In his foreword, Mr Potočnik says: “This 200th edition represents an important milestone. Environment policy needs to be based on state-of-the-art science. Yet as science keeps evolving, policy-makers have a tough time keeping abreast of the most recent relevant scientific results. The Science for Environment Policy News Alert service provides a valuable and highly appreciated service for EU and national environment policy makers. It presents the latest policy-relevant scientific research in a language that is clear, simple and concise, in areas as complex as nature and biodiversity, water, waste, forests and air quality. It is helping to establish a shared knowledge base and the much needed dialogue between environment policy and research.” The service has steadily built up a readership of over 12,000 and has established itself as a valuable resource. In a recent independent survey, subscribers expressed clear satisfaction with the service. 97% of respondents claimed to find the service useful, including 38% who considered it very useful. Among the news alert’s key strengths as cited by survey respondents were: its ability to repackage information, readability, broad coverage and uniqueness. For more details of the survey’s findings, please go to: Science for Environment Policy is published by the European Commission’s DG Environment and is edited by the Science Communication Unit at the University of the West of England. It is delivered to subscribers in a weekly email and can also be accessed via the service’s website, where details of how to subscribe can be found:


Environmental Communication