Jun 05, 2014

MEPA (Malta) launched a new and innovative Geoportal Information System

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The planning authority today launched a new and innovative Geoportal Information System (seismalta.org.mt) with the latest ongoing environmental data. The aims is to facilitate and empower citizens, businesses, academia and NGOs to take conscious decisions and instigate change when equipped with credible, regular and timely information about the state of the environment.

This information system which presents highly complex data in an easy to understand mode will also provide policymakers with better access to high-quality thematic information about the environment. As a result, policies can be amended or created for the purpose of improving the quality of the environment and to reduce impacts on it, while safeguarding human health. The website offers air, soil, radiation, noise and underwater data that is presented in an easy to understand format.

Project Consultant Dr Saviour Formosa the development of the Geoportal was the final component of a large EU funded project on environmental monitoring. The €5 million project which was entitled “Developing national environmental infrastructure and capacity” focused on radically improving the national environmental monitoring capacity in six environmental themes – air, water, radiation, noise, soil and marine. The project’s output resulted in the procurement of equipment, information management systems, environmental baseline surveys, training of staff, and the enhancement of the national monitoring programmes in these mentioned environmental themes.

The project was led by MEPA and also involved the University of Malta, National Statistics Office (NSO), the Directorate for Environmental Health and the Malta Resources Authority (MRA).

The SEIS-MALTA Geoportal was launched at a press conference which was organised on the eve of World Environment Day. The theme ‘Raise your voice not the sea level’ chosen for this year by the United Nations’ serves to encourage a greater understanding of the importance and urgency to help protect these islands states in the face of growing risks and vulnerabilities, particularly as a result of climate change.

A publication entitled: ‘Future Preparedness – Thematic & Spatial Issues for the Environment & Sustainability’ published by the University of Malta and MEPA and edited by Dr Saviour Formosa was also launched.