Summit eyeing global sharing of environmental data - SciDev.Net
Connotea Imports 2012-07-31
"Better collaboration, strengthening existing data networks and launching new networks will improve access to environmental data on which vital decisions will depend, delegates believe....As the cost of computer hardware and data infrastructure has fallen, poorer countries can hook up to information networks stored on the 'cloud' without investing in expensive hardware, and even farmers can access information through ubiquitous mobile phones. "In the past the main barrier to accessing environmental information was considered to be the technology. The barrier is no longer technology but making data accessible," says Cathrine Armour, programme director for Eye on Earth, from the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI). Environmental knowledge has become critical, yet much of it is hard to access, unusable or simply not available. Data collected by development banks and aid agencies often remains "hidden" in project reports. Developing countries in particular find it difficult to tackle environmental issues due to competing national priorities, yet environmental damage can be significant...."The general principle is you are better off with open access to information than not, and that principle underlies the Eye on Earth summit," says [Peter Gilruth, director of the division of early warning and assessment at the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi]...."