Environmental Monitoring Systems in Russia

Project description

Title: Environmental Monitoring Systems in Russia
Commissioned by: European Union Technical Assistance for the Commonwealth of Independent States (EU-TACIS)
Country: Russian Federation
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation
Overall term: January 2001 – December 2003

Context

Cooperation in the field of national environmental monitoring systems (EMS) enjoys high priority among European decision-makers. A key focus here is on standardising the systems used to collect data, as this will effectively facilitate the objective assessment of the state of the environment and will thus help to implement cross-frontier environmental protection measures. In terms of standardisation, Russia has some catching up to do. The formerly essentially centralised EMS was divided into regional systems as part of the reform process, leaving it underfinanced. GTZ International Services is therefore advising the Russian Government on establishing a uniform system for collecting environmentally relevant data. This system will be in line with international standards and compatible with European systems.

Objective

The project objective is to set up a system for collecting environmentally relevant data in Russia in keeping with the Aarhus Convention. Hence, the national management system as well as the guidelines for data collection and reporting should comply with a uniform standard, facilitating the smooth exchange of data between countries.

Approach

Project activities focus on several sub-aspects of environmental monitoring systems at both the federal and regional level. Thus, we have analysed and commented on existing systems for standardising data collection and provided methodological and specialist support for the implementation of a uniform system. For example, we renewed the technical equipment in use in the institutions involved, so as to ensure that the new system could be launched as smoothly as possible. Two pilot regions with a different focus of observation were at the centre of our activities in this connection: in the Kaluga region we set up a system to monitor surface water and in the Perm region a system to monitor air pollution.

To enable all those involved to use the emerging monitoring network, we promoted the exchange of information between national and international institutions – for instance by means of a website and by setting up regional information and analysis centres in the pilot regions.