INSPIRE Knowledge Base

ONEMA (Office National de l'Eau et des Milieux Aquatiques)

LMO Description
Organisation: 
ONEMA (Office National de l'Eau et des Milieux Aquatiques)
Proposed role in INSPIRE development
  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • be kept informed
  • yes
  • implement pilot projects to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
    Details
    Level of authority: 
    National
    Metropolitan France and Overseas departments and collectivities
    Formal Mandate: 
    <p>Established in April 2007, Onema is a national agency active in the field of environmental French public service. Created by the Law on water and aquatic environments, dated 30 December 2006, and the implementation decree dated 25 March 2007, it operates under the supervision of the ministry in charge of ecology and sustainable development.<br /> Onema organises and produces high-level science and technology advice to assist in formulating, implementing and evaluating public water policy. Its mission is to contribute to overall and sustainable management of water resources and aquatic ecosystems, with a view to restoring water quality and reaching the good chemical and ecological status by 2015 set by the European Water framework directive, adopted on 23 October 2000.</p> <p>The specific aims of ONEMA</p> <p>• Onema organises and supplies high-level science advice, based on scientific knowledge, to support the formulation, negotiation, implementation and evaluation of public policy in the water sector.<br /> • It participates in inspections on water usage and surveillance of aquatic environments, in prevention of damage to environments, in their restoration and in the preservation of biodiversity.<br /> • It coordinates the information system and participates in acquisition of data on water and aquatic environments, in the related activities and services, and in making the information available to the public as well as to European, national and local authorities.<br /> • It provides water managers with its technical support and field-acquired knowledge on the operation of aquatic environments.<br /> • It participates in formulating and disseminating knowledge, in training water-management personnel and in raising public awareness concerning the good ecological status of water and aquatic environments.</p> <p>In parallel to its national missions, Onema is also presented internationally and above all in the European scene. This presence is mainly due to its commitment for sustainable management of water resources and related environment. Onema was created in response to the need for the French Ministry in charge of ecology and sustainable development to elaborate the setting up of the European policy for water and aquatic environment. Acting at the European level is thus a strategic action. Moreover the insertion of Onema in European projects and networks is part of the agency strategy.<br /> Onema develops synergies with European partners:<br /> • To lead operational and common actions for research and development which support the setting up of water policies<br /> • To know and check information about water, especially those linked to the European Water Information System (WIS-E) and European Union report about directive applications<br /> • To set up European policies for water (especially DCE) which is harmonized, coherent and effective in each country, in response to common objectives.</p>
    Main Activities: 
    1) Stimulate Research and Development Onema acts as the "ways and means" agency in that it stimulates French public research, sets priorities for research on water and ecosystems, build partnership with research organizations and funds research targeting directly useable results in the public interest. It participates in European networks and contributes to their development. Onema produces tools to diagnose, manage and restore aquatic environments. It leads a network of experts who assist in negotiating and in implementing water policies. It designs the media used to disseminate technical knowledge and organises training courses. 2) Manage the French Water Information System (WIS-F) and produce data A central part of the mission lies in gathering information on the status of water bodies in France for reports to the European commission and in assisting in setting priorities for water-management policies. Via its personnel spread around the country, Onema collects, manages and uses data on: - hydrobiological parameters (piscicultural aspects) of continental surface waters and their hydromorphological status; - the protected species at risk/the native species in danger and habitats. Standardised methods ensure the consistency of collection techniques and of the data itself, notably concerning sampling of populations and diagnosis of the biological status of environments.Onema provides functional management of the national Water Information System (WIS-F) in a close partnership with the river-basin authorities. It organises information gathering and use, notably in the framework of the Water Information System for Europe (WISE). To ensure the consistency of water data, Onema establishes rules for the various partners on information systems and methods. Onema designs the evaluation methods for water status in view of formulating restoration strategies. 3) Protect aquatic environments by inspecting use and enforcing regulations Onema provides State services with technical opinions on requests for use and authorisations in the framework of water-policing activities. These opinions deal generally with the status of the environment, the potential impact of projects and the value of the proposed corrective or compensatory measures. Onema also assists the water police in identifying rivers, wetlands and spawning zones, and in recreating ecological continuity in rivers. For surface waters, rivers and wetlands, agency personnel carry out inspections in the field to enforce regulations on usage of water and aquatic environments. Onema focuses on the most sensitive environments and on the priority issues targeted by the Water framework directive. Under the authority of State prosecutors, it signals any offences and assists the prosecutors in bringing cases to court. In the event of negotiations between the administrative authorities and the offender, Onema assists the administration in evaluating any damage caused to the environment and the necessary corrective measures. 4) Support territorial management of water and restoration of environments To ensure that ecological issues are better taken into account in the territorial implementation of water policies, Onema assists the Water agencies in preparing biological aspects via its technical skills in biology and hydromorphology.Onema assists in restoration operations for aquatic environments around the country. With the Water agencies, active on the river-basin level, it stimulates the emergence of local project-management capabilities and provides them with help in defining restoration goals and means. Onema also participates in operations to restore carrying capacities for migratory fish, the symbols of the ecological quality of rivers.It provides its know-how on how to improve aquatic environments and restore ecological continuity, and it contributes to evaluating restoration programmes
    Area of work/experience
    Geographic Domain:: 
    National
    Metropolitan France and Overseas departments and collectivities
    Societal Sector: 
    environmental public service
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development: 
    Via its personnel spread around the country, Onema collects, manages and uses data on: - hydrobiological parameters (piscicultural aspects) of continental surface waters and their hydromorphological status; - the protected species at risk/the native species in danger and habitats. Standardised methods ensure the consistency of collection techniques and of the data itself, notably concerning sampling of populations and diagnosis of the biological status of environments. Onema provides functional management of the national Water Information System (WIS-F) in a close partnership with the river-basin authorities. It organises information gathering and use, notably in the framework of the Water Information System for Europe (WISE). To ensure the consistency of water data, Onema establishes rules for the various partners on information systems and methods. Onema designs the evaluation methods for water status in view of formulating restoration strategies.