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Environmental Information Management Flanders region (Belgium). Dick van Straaten - Lode Nulens [email protected] - [email protected] Flemish authority of Environment. Flanders: environmental policy.

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Environmental information management flanders region belgium l.jpg

Environmental Information ManagementFlanders region (Belgium)

Dick van Straaten - Lode Nulens

[email protected] - [email protected]

Flemish authority of Environment


Flanders environmental policy l.jpg
Flanders: environmental policy

  • Most of the environmental issues and policy is the competence of the three regions (Flanders, Walloon and Brussels) in Belgium

  • Flanders has its own Environmental Policy Plan 2003-2007: formal planning process with public involvement/participation

  • Environmental Policy Plan is approved by the Flemish government and Parliament

  • Dissemination of environmental information and public involvement in decision-making is explicit part of the Environmental Policy Plan

  • Action force: Environmental Management Information System: linking all existing environmental information in one logical database easily accessible to all (governmental) organisations, policy-makers (management system) and the public.


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Channels of dissemination environmental information

  • Through the internet: different websites of existing (governmental) organisations. This information is scattered and not integrated. Environmental information is available service-minded (what is available) , not really question-based (what is needed)

  • Special task force on e-government during the last 3 years, supported by the Flemish government, for all the different policy domains: one portal site for the Flemish governmental organisations and an integrated backoffice. Organised through the different policy domains such as Environment.

  • Other channels: paper, telephone, the old-fashioned desk, digital television,…


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Public access to environmental information through the internet

  • The different governmental organisations concerning the environment (on the level the the Flemish region) have internet-sites that supplies specific environmental information on their activities and tasks: air, water, soil, waste management, nature conservation, biodiversity, land management, ….

  • Information is scattered !!


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Waste and soil management internetwww.ovam.be




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Geographical maps on internet: integrating environmental spatial information

  • One website covering and integrating or combining relevant environmental information: thematic maps (biological valuation map, forestry maps,..) policy maps (Nature 2000, Flemish Ecological Network,…) integrated maps (watercourses with water quality/quantity, biological data,….

  • www.gisvlaanderen.be/geovlaanderen



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Governmental scientific institutes Flanders spatial information

Scientific institutes provide specific environmental information, published on their websites

  • Institute of Nature Conservation: biodiversity, state of nature: http://www.instnat.be

  • Institute of Forest and Game Management: Forestry, acidification, fishery, mamals,… http://www.ibw.vlaanderen.be

  • Flemish Institute for Technological Research: best available technologies, environmental resaerch (environment and health): http://www.vito.be


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Other websites concerning environmental information spatial information

  • Environmental law and legislation: special search application: http://milieunavigator.milieuinfo.be

  • Environmental impact assessment in Flanders: www.mervlaanderen.be

  • Integrated Watermanagement in Flanders: www.viwc.be, e-zine on ‘Water’ (quality, quantity, use, research, databases,…

  • Sustainable use of water resources (target groups: agriculture, enterprises and citizens): www.waterloketvlaanderen.be

  • Aarhus website: www.mina.be/aarhus

  • Floods prediction: www.overstromingsvoorspeller.be

  • Etc, etc….


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Portal-site Environmental information spatial informationwww.milieuinfo.be

Goal: bringing all the available information together, using meta-information, a comprehensive and easy navigation system (principle of a clearing house)

  • Question-based navigation: FAQ’s linked to lifeline moments (citizans and enterprises), thematic, target-groups

  • No content, only direct links to the appropiate websites with environmental information - specific taxonomy/categorisation to structure meta-information

  • Unique site for internet application (front-office e-government): environmental licensing, emission reports enterprises, environmental taxes

  • CMS linked to CMS’s (websites) of the different governmental organisations


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Portal-site: spatial informationwww.milieuinfo.be


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Decision-making and public participation by the use of internet

  • In 2002: preparation of the formal Environmental Policy Plan (to be approved officially by government and parliament). Public enquiry was included and the draft Environmental policy plan was available through the internet. A special internet-application was set up to guide the public through the content of the plan. There was a possibility to give your own opinion about the plan through the internet. Also the follow-up of the plan can be followed through the internet-site http://www.milieubeleidsplan.be

  • Spatial planning in Flanders is arranged by specific execution plans. Changes of these plans inquiry public opinion and participation. All information is published on a website http://www.ruimtelijkeordening.be

  • Environmental Impact Assessment (SEA and EIA): new legislation in Flanders (end 2003), public participation at the scoping phase, all information, including summaries will be published on a website: http://www.mervlaanderen.be. Public inquiry will also be possible through the internet


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Challenges: front-office internet

  • Improving front-office to a more question-based navigation system focused to the public, enterprises and organisations - clearing house

  • Using different channels to disseminate environmental information: internet, digital television, sms, telephone,…

  • Legal base for public inquiry through the internet, unique identification of citizens and enterprises

  • Extent the availability of information through the internet such as environmental licenses (enterprises), emissions, flooding previsions,…


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Challenges: internetE-government backoffice - environment

  • Extranet between all (governmental) organisations concerning the environment: information exchange

  • Centralized information systems to support environmental policy and to link different dossiers: centralized database on enterprises, environmental licences and emission activities (important for EPER, IPPC, greenhouse gasses,…)

  • Linking different administration processes (follow-up of dossiers) between organisation: improving efficiency, service and dissemination of environmental information


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