, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 323-334

Access and Assimilation: Pivotal environmental information challenges

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The world-wide environmental exchange of information is hampered by difficulties bridging terminologies and languages so that trans-cultural, cross-sectoral, and multi-dimensional information can be made available in a usable form at low cost.

The alternative concepts and elements described are planned to contribute to HEMIS, UNEP-HEMs world-wide information and reference system. The potential content includes: environmentally relevant organizations, activities, systems, methods, data sources, qualities, and access methods.

The key design element is a multi-lingual thesaurus which has harmonization effect resulting from the structuring and strategic access to information. Documentation and retrieval is another concern beside the provision of tools to ease identification, dissemination, and validation of information. The maintenance of validated source data and documents will reduce the volumes of requested information and thereby counteract the present information overkill.

The views expressed in this paper are personal and are not intended to anticipate decisions or commitments.