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Guidelines for state of the environment reports

The European Environment Agency (EEA) has published an invitation to tender concerning guidelines for state of the environment reporting with a view to the harmonization of reporting by the EEA and the PHARE countries.

Harmonization of the process of making state of the environment (SoE) reports in the EEA member countries (EU plus Norway and Iceland) and the PHARE countries will facilitate reporting on a European scale and contribute to better comparability of national SoE reports.

The EEA's policy for harmonization is not to issue strict guidelines but to work together with the countries to develop common frameworks. An important instrument in this process is a group of national experts in SoE reporting established by the EEA. This group helps the Agency in identifying common requirements and developing products. Overviews of current practices and meetings to discuss the issues concerned are frequently used for the development of common frameworks and "guidelines".

The contract will provide support to the process of harmonization of SoE reporting in the period end 1997 to end 1998. A number of concrete activities have to be executed:

- 1. To provide support for the organization of a seminar, for which preparatory material is under development by the EEA, in early 1998. This seminar will be devoted to exchanging experiences and drawing common lines in setting up the organization and the process of compiling a state of the environment report (the political environment, involvement of stockholders, designing of scope and contents);
- 2. To write the conclusions/recommendations of the seminar;
- 3. To develop a "checklist for SoE reporters" based on available material;
- 4. To gather and make available overviews of current practices in SoE in Europe. The following topics are under consideration:
. a) Indicators used/issues treated in SoE reports;
. b) The process of preparing SoE reports;
. c) Legal and institutional set up of SoE reporting activities;
. d) Sector delineation and sector assessments in SoE;
. e) Models used in national SoE reporting;
. f) Impacts and efficiency of SoE reports;
- 5. To organize two meetings of the expert group on guidelines and reporting in 1998;
- 6. To report on the workshops in the form of "guidelines" documents.

The contract should last for 12 months.
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