EARSS: Environmental Assessment and Reporting Support System

Main objectives of the EARSS systems are:

  • To support an issue and model based approach to environmental reporting;

  • To prioritize issues and develop useful indicators for the state of the environment;

  • To provide templates for data collection and assessment related to these issues and indicators;

  • To provide the necessary linkages to appropriate UNEP data bases, and in particular, to data at GRID Bangkok.

EARSS provides a large set of interlinked function that support browsing in its numerous and extensive data holdings. In addition to (originally) local use on workstations supporting X11, implementation as SaaS *SOftware as a Service) with remote access through the World Wide Web and any networked PC with an industry standard web browser for efficient sharing of computational and data resources is available.

Major functions include:

  • Multiple GIS levels for both regional and selected case study areas, including satellite imagery and global modeling results;
  • A subregional and local case study selector; currently implemented for the Mekong Basin as an example case study;
  • A hypertext system that includes: an on-line help and explain feature; a complete implementation of the Agenda 21 text as a framework of issues; individual indicators and data sets are linked to these issues through keys in the main text;
  • An interface to various data bases of indicators and underlying environmental and socio-economic data. This includes country specific data, cities, or monitoring stations; for time series data, special animation features are provided.
  • Indicators, grouped by issues, can be compared across countries with topical maps and basic statistics displayed. Typical sources of data are various UN organizations, the World Bank, or the World Resources Institute.
  • An expert system for the derivation and interpretation of indicator values, linked to the issues (chapter headings) of Agenda 21.

A pilot with global scope and a number of regional and local case studies was developed under the EU supported FW4 international (INCO) research project: GAIA.

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