Main objectives: The EPA is committed to developing new means of communicating environmental information and key messages to as wide an audience as possible. To complement the State of the Environment report (which is produced every four years) the EPA developed the ‘Ireland’s Environment’ web resource section on the EPA website. A brief overview of Ireland’s Environment is presented in the video available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpww0ASiWWk16:26
Implementation: Information is presented in a highly visual format under eight environmental themes – air, climate, water, waste, nature, land & soil, environment & well-being and sustainable economy. It provides concise, up-to-date information and data about the Irish environment for the general public and policy makers and is available in a variety of formats including videos, charts, infographics and factsheets. The Ireland’s Environment web resource is available on the EPA website at www.epa.ie/irelandsenvironment/.
A series of infographics and factsheets are available under the “Get Informed” tab.
Get Informed tab: The new “Get Informed” section of the site gives the user the opportunity to explore information about the State of Ireland’s Environment and the data that underpin the assessment.
From here the user can:
- access detailed information about the key environmental indicators for Ireland. Data is presented in interactive charts and can be downloaded in a variety of formats;
- check out EPA Infographics that present interesting facts and figures in a highly visual format across topics such as air, water, waste and health;
- read about EPA funded research and find out how this research is increasing our understanding of environmental challenges and
- explore related EPA education resources for primary and secondary school students.
Get Involved tab: The new ‘Get Involved’ section of the site provides users with information on ways they can become involved in protecting the Irish environment. From here the user can:
- check out the EPA's See-it Say-it App, available for both Apple and Android devices
- learn more about EPA licensing and enforcement functions and • consider ways to 'Get Involved' in protecting the environment through the EPA citizen science page.
Result: As well as being the go-to resource for the public, Ireland’s Environment provides valuable information for policy makers both for developing new policies and for evaluating existing ones. We would hope that providing data in this accessible way will assist informed debate on the steps required to protect Ireland’s environment. The resource is the culmination of extensive collaboration between the EPA and external organizations in compiling key datasets on a wide range of environmental indicators and won the ‘General’ category at the eGovernment awards in 2016.
Why do you think this example shows how the Aarhus Convention made a difference in your country?
This example from the EPA highlights the transition that Ireland is taking to become more open and transparent with its duties in serving the public. The level of access to environmental information is exemplary and other Public Authorities are striving to reach the same standards. This change in approach by Public Authorities can be credited to the Aarhus Convention.