Overview of Environmental Monitoring and Indicators Network (EMIN)

Environmental Monitoring and Indicators Network (EMIN)

The information explosion is widening the gap between citizens, decision makers and scientists. Therefore it is extremely difficult for a Decision Maker or even a layman to get a holistic picture of changes in the environment – even scientists get lost in the labyrinth of numbers without meanings. The absence of meaningful environmental information is a problem for sensible management of environmental issues. Meaningful and reliable information is a key management tool in environmental management at all levels including national level. ‘Indicators represent an empirical model of reality, not reality itself, but they must, nonetheless, be analytically sound and have fixed methodology for measurement’.[1]

In order to design environmental monitoring programmes for Punjab in a cost-effective manner it would be feasible to apply EMIN- process (Environmental Monitoring and Indicators Network) . It starts from defining what kind of indicator framework should be selected for selecting indicators for Provincial Core Set of Environmental Indicators (PCEI).

Structure for Environmental Monitoring and Indicators Network (EMIN).JPG

EMIN is a cost-efficient way to have sufficient understanding on the nature of environmental problems that Punjab is facing now. It seeks to allocate future environmental monitoring resources optimally by assessing environmental monitoring needs in a holistic and participatory expert process. Following steps involved for an effective EMIN exercise in Punjab;

  • Invite all environmental data holders, including government agencies, academic institutions, I(NGO)’s and other data holders and monitoring organizations to Environmental Monitoring and Indicators Network (EMIN) to support efforts of Government of Punjab through the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) to get and share reliable environmental data
  • Initiate discussions on data sharing policies of Punjab
  • Define the most important environmental problems of Punjab
  • Prioritize Top-10 environmental problems with a system analytic method
  • Perform a preliminary spatial analysis on possible “hot-spots” for each environmental problem
  • Define environmental indicators for prioritized environmental problems
  • Assess existing environmental monitoring programmes and data sets of different data producers
  • Create a meta-database on environmental monitoring and research
  • Assess gaps between existing monitoring and defined indicators
  • Create a Provincial Core Set of Environmental Indicators (PCEI), also taking into account obligations from MEA’s and SDG’s
  • Making gap analysis on monitoring (current versus PCEI)
  • Fill the observed gaps in monitoring by establishing necessary monitoring programmes with defined locations, sampling/measurement intervals and methods
  • Draft a data-sharing policy for Punjab and/or contracts with data holders to provide data for open databases and/or production of the State of the Environment book and periodic state of the Environment reporting with PCEI-indicators
  • Establish environmental databases including the EMIS and/or links to existing databases

As a part of the EMIN-process, the future ‘Strategy and Policy Department of Environment Protection and Climate Change Department’ would need to do a complete meta-database survey. Other than EMC, there are many other departments of Punjab and a variety of non-government institutions l that are also collecting environmental monitoring data and can contribute in meta data base. These are the stakeholders that can be involved in the State of Environment Reporting process, either as providers of information, advice or expertise, or as users or interested parties in the conclusions and recommendations in the annual SoE report. Figure 2 provides a network of stakeholders that can play role in meta-database and SoE monitoring and reporting;

Network of Stakeholders with a role in Metadata Base and SoE monitoring and reporting.JPG

File:Environmental Monitoring and Indicators Network.pdf

[2]

  1. Hammond, A. etal. 1995. Environmental Indicators: A systematic approach to measuring and reporting on environmental policy performance in the context of sustainable development. World Resources Institute
  2. https://epd.punjab.gov.pk/system/files/5.1%20Technical%20Submission.pdf Environmental Laboratories and Monitoring