The Department of Environment, Protection and Conservation (DEPC) facilitated a half-day workshop at the Melanesian Hotel in Port Vila with numerous government stakeholders on Monday, in order to initiate the development of an Environmental Information Management System (EIMS).

The purpose of developing an EIMS would be to assist the Vanuatu national government to efficiently collect, store and manage its environmental data. The DEPC, led by Director Reedly Tari, is seeking to improve its access to important environmental data that may impact government decision-making processes.

An efficient information management system could also assist the Vanuatu government to measure progress for its National Sustainable Development Plan which includes an “Environment Pillar”; and also lep organize data required by United Nations (UN) conventions on climate change, bio-diversity and desertification and for measuring progress relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The workshop was a part of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supported project housed at the DEPC called “Mainstreaming Global Environmental Priorities into National Policies and Programmes” (Vanuatu CB2-CCCD). The Project Coordinator, Mr. Roger Smithy, is based with DEPC but works with many environmental stakeholders at other government departments and non-governmental organizations.

The facilitator of the workshop on Monday was Mr. Yaya Sirima, a technical specialist in information management systems, who presented his findings relating to a gap analysis of environmental data management systems. Mr. Sirima will be working closely over the next six months with the DEPC to support the government in its initial phases of establishing an EIMS.

Continued consultations and trainings with government ministries and departments will take place in coming months as led by the DEPC. The DEPC encourages active participation by all government and NGO agencies in these environmental information management capacity building activities as the environment is a cross-cutting issue that impacts every citizen in Vanuatu.

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