EU geographic database "will aid environment"

A plan to create a harmonised, publicly accessible electronic database of geographic information across the EU should "vastly help" in better planning, implementation and monitoring of environmental measures, European environment commissioner Margot Wallström said on Friday. Ms Wallström was launching a draft EU directive, dubbed Inspire, laying down a framework for coordinating spatial information. The system should be fully operational within ten years. It will "improve our ability to protect biodiversity, fight pollution and prevent floods and fires", the commissioner said. See press release, Inspire home page, and draft directive (COM(2004)516).

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