5th EPA Network plenary meeting, Prague

The Network of Heads of European Environment Protection Agencies held its 5th meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, on 29 - 30 September 2005. There were representatives from agencies from 23 countries, as well as from the European Commission and the European Environment Agency. The meeting was hosted by CENIA, the Environment Protection Agency of the Republic of Czech Republic.

In the first session, the network discussed the State of the Environment and outlooks for Europe. It started with an overview of both the work of the CENIA and the environmental governance in the Czech Republic. EEA provided information on the sub report ‘European Environment Outlook’ and the outline of the State of Environment Report 2005, which will be published in November 2005. The session continued with contributions from the Netherlands, Italy and Finland on Assessment of sustainability – oriented policies, State of the Environment Reporting and Environment sustainable index.

The Network was invited to take part in the launch of the State of the Environment Report 2005. The second session covered information systems such as GEO, GMES, INSPIRE and Earth Observation user survey and their interrelationships. The Network endorsed the need for a coherent system to keep track of environmental data. This issue will be further dealt with.

On the second day the network covered the progress of work of the four interest groups.

  • The interest group on better regulation had finished a report, supported by the whole network, the so-called Prague statement. The report will be published on 3 October 2005. The publishing event will be organized jointly by the interest group and EEA. The intention is to translate the report to the languages used by different members of the Network. Individual members declared their will to use the report for discussion on a national level and in discussion with legislators. The interest group will continue and now focus on barriers to better regulation.
  • The interest group on agriculture agreed to continue its work and define further activities in Vienna.  
  • The interest group on sustainable use of natural resources had presented a draft text and called for comments. The issues will be further discussed in Vienna.
  • The work of the interest group on Climate change and adaptation will continue and the Network supported the upcoming workshop on Climate Change and adaptation in London November 2005