By Akbar Mammadov
Azerbaijan and European Union will organize online capacity development training to manage “EcoPortal”, the website of EU External Action (EEAS) reported on June 22.
“Starting from today, water experts from Azerbaijan and European Environment Agency will hold online capacity development training for managing EcoPortal. The training will focus on sharing environmental information, including that on water — a resource that is vital for all life on our planet, ecosystems, society and the economy. This capacity building is in line with the European Union’s objectives of promoting greener development and digitization in the Eastern Partnership”, the report reads.
According to the information provided by the EAAS, as Azerbaijan is one of the water scarce countries in the region, water use efficiency and protection of the freshwater ecosystems are vital.
Thus, data and information, which is considered to be shared among water agencies, will be supported by Azerbaijan’s EcoPortal. This share of the data and information among the agencies is aimed at underpinning Azerbaijan’s policy-making based on the knowledge.
Furthermore, the European Union has also assisted to harmonize Azerbaijan’s data on water quality in line with the water quality data dictionary of the European Water Information System (WISE).
“It is now compatible with the European dataset. Similarly, the indicators developed based on the water quality data and published on the EcoPortal follow an indicator template from the European Environment Agency”, the report said.
Enabling the comparison of the state of Azerbaijan’s water resources with its neighboring countries (Russia, Iran, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia), it will also be possible to make a comparison with any member state of the EU. Thanks to these indicators, which can be compared in a regional base, the knowledge-based policy dialogue on water resources at the national and regional level will be supported.
“The EcoPortal is the platform where all indicators are available as well as many other data and information will serve to wider interest groups such as water practitioners, research community, international organizations that are heavily depending on national data for regional or global assessments”, the report reads.
Thus, system functionalities and EcoPortal’s design are encouraged by the WISE. The WISE is an information system to which all member states of the European Union report the data and share information about their water resources. It also provides water datasets, indicators, dynamic maps and reports. It allows for exchanging and sharing the data and information among the national water agencies in line with the Shared Environmental Information System principles and practices.
In addition, ordinary citizens, experts, practitioners and academia are now capable of accessing various databases and compare Azerbaijan’s water quality data with the data of EU Member States.
"The ENI SEIS II East project is funded by the European Union. The project implements the principles and practices of the Shared Environmental Information System (SEIS) in various environmental domains. The project builds on previous cooperation activities in the six Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine), carried out between 2010-2015", the report said.
The purpose of the project is aimed at deepening the relations with the six Eastern Partnership countries and between the EU, as well as supporting the promotion of environmental protection by strengthening environmental governance. Moreover, it allows to build capacity in the fields of biodiversity, water, land, air and environmental assessments.
The European Environment Agency delivers the latest and best practices and methodologies of the EU, aiming to improve the institutional capacities of the national environmental and statistical authorities in the EaP countries..
Earlier, during the Summit of the Eastern Partnership countries via video conference on June 18, President Ilham Aliyev said Azerbaijan is in the final stages of negotiations on a new partnership agreement with the European Union.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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