The European Environment Agency (EEA) is the European Union (EU) institution that has a formal role to process and provide information on Europe’s environment in support to European and national policies. It is supported by a number of European Topic Centres (ETC) that focus on a specific theme (e.g. water, air and climate change). One of these ETCs is concerned with biological diversity. This ETC/BD is a consortium of currently 13 partner institutes that is since 1995 coordinated by the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris.
The ETC/BD has the specific responsibility to assist the EEA in collecting, managing and reporting data and information on state and trends of biodiversity in Europe (such as the share of threatened habitat types or species, trends in bird populations, or the area of protected nature sites). It does so in particular in support of European nature and biodiversity policies (e.g. Birds and Habitats Directives and Natura 2000). Also, the ETC/BD helps build capacity for reporting on biodiversity in Europe.
One of the tasks that the ETC/BD is charged with is the development and maintenance of the Biodiversity Information System for Europe (BISE). This is a key entry point for data and information on biodiversity supporting the implementation of the EU biodiversity strategy and the United Nations biodiversity targets in Europe.
My assignment with the Muséum, under contract to the EEA, was to help improve access to and to classify content that is offered through BISE.