United States
                 Environmental Protection
                 Agency
Information Resources
Management
(PM-211A)
                 INTERNATIONAL
                 UPDATE
      May 1992
    220N92024
RECElVfc-U

          -2T98?
                                                                           REGION
          UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON INFORMATION SYSTEMS
  I attended the Conference on Information Systems,
the Environment, and Development in Latin America
and the Caribbean in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from
March 16-20. .The conference was sponsored by the
United Nations Environment Programme and the
Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources. The
objectives of the meeting were to encourage the
exchange of computerized information on regional
programs that store and distribute information, and to
identify specific regional cooperative activities that
facilitate decision-making on environmental
management.

  The attendees included delegates from eighteen
Latin American and Caribbean nations, representatives
from international organizations, nongovernmental
organizations, private industry, and Puerto Rican
governmental organizations.
   The agenda consisted of

           Presentations by the countries'
  delegates on the state of environmental
  information in each country, including, in some
  cases, their experiences with GIS

           Overview of international networks
  and their utilization in Latin America and the
  Caribbean

           The UNEP's GRID (Global Resource
  Information Database) and its network

           General presentation on GIS
  components and applications

           Workgroup discussions on databanks
  and networks, and on GIS.
   INFOTERRA/USA National Focal Point
                            - Emma J. McNamara
      An exhibit of information systems and tools was on
   display as part of the conference. EPA was represented
   by INFOTERRA/USA, ISI (Information Systems
   Inventory), STORET, AIRS, and other databases.
   Region 2 and Caribbean Field Office staff helped man
   the EPA display booth.

         WORKGROUP RECOMMENDATIONS

   Databanks and Networks:  The major problem
   identified by this workgroup was the underutilization of
   the various networks and databases that already exist in
   the region. This lack of use was attributed, in part, to the
   problems of communication and information exchange
   between national and regional institutions.

      The group recognized the need to improve the
   linkages between the systems, increase and improve user
   access, and increase the number of users. Some of the
   recommendations included the compilation of an
   international directory of environmental databases, the
   establishment of regional electronic transmission centers
   to facilitate access to information, and the development
   of training programs for users of networks and databases.

   Geographic Information Systems: Some of the
   problems identified by this group included the limited use
   of GIS by the environmental sector of government, lack
   of guidance and standards to assist in the CIS-selection
   process, lack of trained personnel, and insufficient
   funding.

      The group made several recommendations including
   developing pilot programs that address major regional
   problems, improving training opportunities, exploring
   new sources of financing, and strengthening
   communication and information access on GIS-related
   topics.

      If you would like to see the reports provided by the
   countries' representatives and the final recommendations
   please call me, Emma McNamara, INFOTERRA/USA
   Manager, at (202) 260- 1522.  GQ  _   .  _   . .
       0                  ^^ Printed on Recycled Paper

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LOOKING FOR EUROPEAN  COMMUNITY (EC) INFORMATION?
A Guide to European Information Sources in the International Collection

  Following is a brief guide to publications on environmental and political activities available in the International
Collection.  Current issues of international periodicals can be found in the New Journals Section in the International
Collection. Back issues are shelved alphabetically in the Periodical Collection of the Headquarters Library. Some
periodicals are located in the Vertical File  of the International Collection. Visit the collection in Room 2904 or call the
INFOTERRA staff for more information at 260-5917.
Environmental Policy and Law
International Council of Environmental Law
6 issues per year; back issues shelved in the Periodicals Collection.

   This quarterly journal combines news and analysis of
European and international environmental activities with
full text of protocols, agreements, and international
environmental statements.
FORUM
Council of Europe
Irregular; shelved in the Vertical File.

   This full color news magazine covers political,
economic, scientific and social issues of interest to the
Council of Europe. While the magazine focuses on
political issues, the environment is occasionally covered.
Environmental Research Newsletter
Commission of the European Communities
Irregular; shelved in the Vertical File.

  EC regulatory activity on the environment is arranged by
subject and medium: environmental chemicals, water, soil,
environmental and human health, and ecosystems. This
newsletter also contains information on new publications,
EC activities and events, and European environmental
research programs.
NEW AND NOTEWORTHY

Books added to the International Collection that may be of
interest to you:

Action Plan for the Environment in Latin America and
the Caribbean. [English & Spanish versions] Mexico City:
UNEP Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean,
1991. TD171S.C27A38

Environmental Effects of Ozone Depletion. Nairobi,
Kenya: United Nations Environment Programme, 1991.
TD885.5.085 58

Environmental Protection Policy in Japan. Tokyo:
Environment Information Center, 1991. TD170.8.J3 58

Global Biodiversity Strategy: Guidelines for Action to
Save, Study, and Use Earth's Biotic Wealth Sustainably
and Equitably. Washington: World Resources Institute and
others, 1992.  QH75.G51992

Nfemec, Jan. Lights & Shadows: Environment in Czech
Republic, Paris: Marketing Dynamics International, 1991.
TD171J5.C951S4

Rummel-Bulska, Iwona, ed.  Selected Multilateral Treaties
in the Field of the Environment. Cambridge, Grotius
Publications, 1991. REFK35853.S451991
International Environment Reporter
BNA Publications
Bi-weekly; shelved in the International Collection.

   The Reporter is divided into two sections: the weekly
newsletter and the reference section.  Current events,
conference reports, and news articles are included in the
newsletter. Full text of EC Directives, conventions,
international treaties, and agreements can be found in the
reference section.
Noturppa
Council of Europe
Quarterly; shelved in the Vertical file.

   Naturopa combines information on Council activities
and analysis of legal and regulatory activities with
background on environmental research.
IRPTC

Information Source
Updated
   EPA's Office of Information
Resources Management, National
Correspondent to the United Nations
Environment Programme's
International Register of
Potentially Toxic Chemicals
(IRPTC), recently completed an update of the U.S.
portion of the IRPTC Legal File. Over 10,000 records of
U.S. chemical legislation were sent to Geneva,
Switzerland for inclusion in the register.

   For more information contact Andrew Battin at
(202)260-5109.

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