SACEP ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES INFORMATION CENTRE (SENRIC)
1994 – FEBRUARY 2007
SACEP became a legal entity in 1982 when the minimum required number of countries ratified its Articles of association. Since its formation, the establishment of an Environment Clearing House System had been a priority area for the South Asian region and was fully endorsed by its Governing Council at all of its meetings. As a response, the Regional Environmental and Natural Resources Information Centre (RENRIC) was established in SACEP in July 1990 with the support from the Asian Development Bank under the broad objectives indicated below;
- a) Establishment of an environmental and natural resources clearing-house within the SACEP Secretariat;
- b) Establishment of an environmental and natural resources information network within the SACEP membership utilizing the existing subject matter Focal Points to the extent possible;
- c) Provision of an information network system including appropriate hardware and software;
- d) Provision of advisory support and training for member country representatives by presenting a SACEP Workshop
The 5GC-SACEP in September 1992 approved a SACEP Strategy and Programme (SSP 1) for the period 1992-96. Under SSP 1, continuation of RENRIC was one of the main approvals.
The Environment and Natural Resources Information Networking (ENRIN) activity in Asia and the Pacific Region within a cooperative environment assessment framework was designed to catalyse and facilitate capacity building and servicing of institutions in developing countries and countries with economies in transition in the Asia Pacific Region for improved assessment and reporting on environmental issues. Its long-term goal was to help countries in the Region realise the objectives articulated in Agenda 21, Chapter 40 on Information for Decision-making: (a) enhanced accessibility of integrated environment and development information; and (b) enhanced national capacity to deal with such information for decision-making, priority-setting, policy formulation and planning.
In association with the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP), the Asia Pacific ENRIN project was coordinated by UNEP Regional Resource Centre for Asia and the Pacific (UNEP RRC.AP) located at the Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand. Partnerships were forged at the regional and sub-regional levels in executing and implementing the project. Under these partnerships, SENRIC project was initiated in early 1994 in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a continuation of the RENRIC’s establishment to coordinate the activities for the South Asian Region and to be based at SACEP. The Environment Assessment Programme of UNEP later known as UNEP RRC.AP provided necessary backstopping for the related activities since 1995 to February 2007 following the initial establishment support from ADB for the year 1994.
Targeting the environment agency in each country, the activities in the Asia Pacific ENRIN project implementation included (a) institutional capacity building activities, (b) data and database management support, and (c) assessment and reporting.
Through the initial stages, SENRIC pursued on Training, Data Management activities through the years 1994-1997 as a part of Capacity Building operations, in close collaboration with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Kathmandu, Nepal.
Project activities carried out by SENRIC in collaboration with UNEP-RRC.AP and ROAP (1994-2007)
- Capacity Building (1994-96)
Under the assistance from Asian Development Bank and the UNEP-EAP.AP, GIA and IP capacities at the Ministries of Environment were enhanced as a follow up of the activities under the ENRIN setup.
Under this activity National Coordinating Centres in Maldives and Sri Lanka and GIS training facilities in Sri Lanka at the University of Peradeniya were ensured.
- Strengthening Environmental Assessment Capabilities (SEAMCAP, 1998-2002)
In November 1998, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) designated UNEP Environment Assessment Programme for Asia and Pacific (UNEP EAP.AP) to implement a project on Strengthening National Capabilities on Environment Assessment and Monitoring towards the Preparation of the Global State of the Environment Report 2000. Specifically, for the South Asian region the following countries are covered: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. UNEP further assisted towards the preparation of the Reports for India and Pakistan as well.
SENRIC assisted to strengthen the capacities in establishing strong information technology base for data processing, modelling and analysis requirements that supports SoE assessments and reporting, and improve the basis for decision making in the handling of important/emerging environment problems. The project further assisted in preparing national and regional SoE reports which were the contributors to ‘2002 Global State of Environment Report’ and ‘2002 Earth Summit’.
During the year 2001/2 SENRIC/SACEP participated towards the agreed and assumed activities to implement the SEAMCAP (Phase 1) and successfully coordinated and ensured the completion of the national level SoE Reports for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka and a sub-regional Report. ‘Children of the Monsoon’ a youth version of the sub-regional report, was also one of the main outcomes of this project.
- Regional Consultations to support the GEO process (2000-2002)
SENRIC constantly assisted in Regional Consultations to complement UNEP activities in the sub-region for inputs to
- GEO 2002
- South Asia SoE Report (June 2001)
- WSSD Preparatory and follow-up Activities for the Regional Platform (Sept 2001)
- Preparation & Consultations of South Asia Position paper for WSSD (June 2002)
- Malé Declaration on Control and Prevention of Air Pollution and its Likely Transboundary Effects for South Asia Phase 1 – 3 was funded by UNEP under the SENRIC project.
The Malé Declaration on Transboundary Air Pollution was adopted under the Chairmanship of Hon. Mohammed Abdul Gayoom, President of the Republic of Maldives during the 7GC-SACEP held in April 1998
Fostering collaboration with the UNEP-RRC.AP, Sida and SEI, SACEP participated in ensuring the National Implementation Networks, compilation of the baseline status of the monitoring mechanisms in the region and a regional Action Plan for implementation of the Declaration during Phase 1 (year 1998-2000)
Phase 2 (2002-2004) activities of the project established a monitoring network in the region and the strong network of such monitoring assured with the cooperation and collaboration from the member countries to share the existing facilities and capabilities in the region. A Status Report was presented to the 2nd Special Session of 8GC-SACEP in January 2003.
Phase 3 (2005-2007) – Implementation continued the capacity building for monitoring, initiated during Phase 2. In addition, capacity building for impact assessment and prevention of air pollution was also initiated. The regional network development was strengthened in a number of ways. Capacity on monitoring programme was strengthened though regular regional and national training programme and others activities. Monitoring of ozone O3 was included as an additional parameter in this phase and the emission inventory manual and workbook were continuously improved during the Phase.
An epidemiological study looking into the impacts of particulate matter on asthmatic school children was successfully undertaken in Bangladesh.
Publications during Phase 3:
- Past, Present and Future of Malé Declaration;
- Good Practices on Prevention and Control of Air Pollution: A Compendium
- Youth for Clean Air Compendium
- An interactive ‘Youth for Clean Air’ CD for youth which contains 4 modules was developed.
- Bangladesh NIA developed a DVD on ‘No to Air Pollution, it’s Time to Go Healthy’ as a part of the public awareness campaign.
- Review of the SACEP Work Programme (2001-2003)
SACEP in collaboration with UNEP undertook to conduct a review of its work programme following a recommendation of the First Special Session of 8GC-SACEP in September 2001. UNEP funded the process under the SENRIC Project. The Review mission’s recommendations were endorsed by the Governing Council (November 2003).
SENRIC Project achievements in collaboration with UNEP-RRC.AP and UNEP-ROAP
Capacity Building Activities (1994-97)
- Preparation of GIS Training Manuals with local case studies
- Training of Trainers (GIS and Image Processing / Remote Sensing)
- Setup of GIS Training Unit (University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka)
- Setup of National Coordinating Units at the Ministry of Environment (Sri Lanka and Maldives)
- Provision of Hardware and Software to the member countries
- Training to the IWMI centres conducted in Colombo
- Advisory role to set up the GIS system for IWMI units
- State of the Environment Report: Bangladesh
- State of the Environment Report: Bhutan
- State of the Environment Report: India
- State of the Environment Report: Maldives
- State of the Environment Report: Nepal
- State of the Environment Report: Sri Lanka.
- South Asia State of the Environment Report
- Children of Monsoon : Youth version of the South Asia State of the Environment
The publications were launched at the SACEP’s Special Session of the Governing Council (2002)
RENRIC & SENRIC Reports –