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SEweb: gateway to Scotland’s environment
For the first time, everything you want to know about Scotland's environment will now be available at the touch of a button.
Yesterday also sees the publication of the second State of the Environment Report to mark the new website provided by Scotland's key environment and health agencies.
Scotland's Environment Web - named SEweb - aims to be the gateway to everything you want to know about Scotland's environment. This three year project, supported by funding from the European Union, will put Scotland at the global forefront of sharing environmental information, prioritising problems and involving citizens in assessing and improving their own environment.
Features of SEweb will include:
All information available from the one source
Direct link to individual partner agencies, making it easy to navigate through information
An Online Library containing all partner agency official reports and publications
'Citizen Science' to allow individual to interact with SEweb (coming in 2012)
The first major project to be hosted on SEweb Library is the State of the Environment Report which paints a generally positive picture about the condition of our environment, said to be worth 23.5 billion pounds per year.
This latest official government report provides the most comprehensive insight yet into the condition of Scotland's environment. It offers important information and data on how the quality of the country's land, air and water impacts on people's quality of life and how these relate to the decisions we make and our lifestyle.
Launched yesterday by Environment and Climate Change Minister Stewart Stevenson, Mr Stevenson said:
"SEweb is a fantastic public resource and a result of excellent collaboration between our public agencies. As well as acting as a gateway to information, it will helps us meet EU reporting requirements.
"Over the past 50 years, we have seen huge improvements in Scotland's environment - river and air pollution has reduced and our woodland cover has increased from 8 per cent, one of the lowest in Europe, to 18 per cent. While the State of the Environment Report paints an overall picture, it also shows key issues to be tackled and what needs to be done to sustain and improve the environment
"We owe it to future generations to protect Scotland's rich and vibrant environment, and it's essential that every one of us begins to take responsibility for reducing bad impacts. I have no doubt that SEweb will pay a vital role in forming the decisions that make Scotland a clean, green country. Please use it."
According to partner agencies, key areas for improvement highlighted through State of the Environment Report are:
Reducing our contribution to climate change - Scotland is moving in the right direction but we have to do more.
Improving our quality of life - the majority of Scottish towns and cities are generally good places to live, but there are still issues such as poor air quality, litter and noise.
Managing our resources better - we can all help by more efficiently using resources and improving recycling rates.
Managing land for multiple benefits - we must achieve a balance between protecting the environment and benefits such as the production of food, the management of forests and enjoyment of recreational opportunities.
Improving the condition of our water environment - we need to continue to address problems such as impacts associated with land management and the health of migratory fish stocks.
Reducing human impact on our seas - there are two significant pressures on the marine area which are widespread: human activity contributing to climate change and fishing which impacts on the seabed and species.
Over the three years of SEweb there will be opportunities for the public to get involved with Scotland's environment and will create a forum for debate and assessment from all corners of the environmental community.
SEweb will be introduced in three phases. Partner agencies coming together to create SEweb include: Scottish Government, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Forestry Commission Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Historic Scotland, Marine Scotland, Scottish Environment LINK. James Hutton Institute, Food Standards Agency Scotland, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and Rivers and Fisheries Trusts of Scotland.