Public Access to Environmental Information on DRA-LVT

CITIDEP Project

initiative 2.2 on portuguese green book for the Information Society

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Coordination | Scope and Problem | Objectives | Methodology | Team | Funding

last update: 28 May 2002

Director:

 Pedro Ferraz de Abreu, PhD

 1996 - 1998


Scope and Problem:

Improving access to environmental information is presently being highlighted at the European Union (EU) level -- where the review of the Directive 90/313/EEC was recently initiated -- since it was recognized as a prerequisite to the sustainability and democratization of the EU. In Portugal, the Ministry of Environment's Regional Agency for "Lisboa and Vale do Tejo" (DRARN-LVT) is responsible for several tasks concerning the environment, such as licensing, environmental impact assessments (EIA) review, monitoring of environmental conditions, etc., which require continuous collection, storage and processing of information.

There is a wide range of groups or individuals that may request this information, namely municipalities, industry, individual citizens, NGOs. However, similarly to most administrative public services, there is a deficient information infrastructure, as well as lack of information planning and management, basic requisites to provide adequate information, both in quality and quantity. Therefore DRARN-LVT often fails to comply with provisions on public access to environmental information (e.g. Directive 90/313/EEC), restraining public participation and compromising transparency of processes (besides the waste of human and logistic resources involved). In order to address this problem, DRA-LVT invited CITIDEP to put forward a project proposal. This project fully meets CITIDEP criteria regarding priorities in RD&D initiatives.


Objectives:


Methodology:

1 - Analysis of the actors needs.

2. - Development of a conceptual model (organization of data, flows and processes) and implementation using Data Bases, Web, Email. For this purpose a literature review is required to identify the main factors that have influence on the accessibility (models and technologies) considering these specific categories of actors. From those factors a group of variables, used as "criteria of success" will be selected and introduced in the model.

3. - Evaluation of the model and technologies will be carried out by analyzing the behavior (quantitatively) of "criteria of success" (e.g. reply interval, number of requests) from each actor and comparing their performances.

4. - Adjustment of the model.


Team:

Prof. Pedro Ferraz de Abreu, PhD (Planning), Director; Prof. Manuel Antunes, PhD 'ABD' (Sociology), Coordinator; Prof. João Joanaz de Melo, PhD (Environment), Principal Science Adviser; Prof. Mark Hasegawa-Jonhnson, PhD (Electronics, Speech recognition), "Information Techology" Research Cluster Coordinator; Eng. Antonio Fernandes (Electronics & Telecommunications); Enga. Fatima Neo (Environment); Dr. Nuno Vieira (Biology); Dr. Isabel Noronha (Biology); Dra. Ceu Aguiar (Social Service); Dra. Elsa Florencio (Biology); Dra Rosario Pinto (Filology); Pedro Borges (Computer Manager, Programming).


Funding:

The Development and Demonstration (D&D) component of this project (implementation of the information system), as well the functional analysis, is funded by DRARN-LVT. However, since this does not cover the research costs required to develop and evaluate the model, CITIDEP is preparing a funding proposal to corresponding research programs.


Other CITIDEP Projects: Intelligent Multimedia System | Expo 98 | Regionet | I.T and Grassroots | ICPPIT99
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