EARSS  Asia-Pacific:

Environmental Assessment and Reporting Support System

EARSS is an interactive information and assessment system, designed to support state of the environment reporting at a global, regional, and national scale.

Main objectives of the systems are:

  • To support an issue and model based approach to environmental reporting;
  • To prioritize issues and develop useful indicators for the state of the environment;
  • To provide templates for data collection and assessment related to these issues and indicators;
  • To provide the necessary linkages to appropriate UNEP data bases, and in particular, to data at GRID Bangkok.

EARSS provides a large set of interlinked function that support browsing in its numerous and extensive data holdings. In addition to local use, access through the World Wide Web (WWW) is supported on an experimental basis: visit the GAIA home page .

Major functions include:

  • Multiple GIS levels for both regional and selected case study areas, including satellite imagery and global modeling results;
  • A subregional and local case study selector; currently implemented for the Mekong Basin as an example case study;
  • A hypertext system that includes: an on-line help and explain feature; a complete implementation of the Agenda 21 text as a framework of issues; individual indicators and data sets are linked to these issues through keys in the main text;
  • An interface to various data bases of indicators and underlying environmental and socio-economic data. This includes country specific data, cities, or monitoring stations; for time series data, special animation features are provided.
  • Indicators, grouped by issues, can be compared across countries with topical maps and basic statistics displayed. Typical sources of data are various UN organizations, the World Bank, or the World Resources Institute.
  • An expert system for the derivation and interpretation of indicator values, linked to the issues (chapter headings) of Agenda 21.

The development of EARSS is a long-term project; the primary target project for which its use is intended is UNEP's 2002 Global SoE report.

Hardware Requirements

The system is implemented in C and C++ with an X Windows based interface; A UNIX workstation or high-end PC (under UNIX) is required.


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