INSPIRE Knowledge Base


UK Environmental Observation Framework
Mission and Objectives: 
The UK-Environmental Observation Framework (UK-EOF) strives to change the way the UK perceives, values, archives and uses information from observation activities by working across public departments and agencies, the voluntary sector, industry and academia. The overall aim of the UK-EOF is to shape the UK's capability to: "facilitate the ongoing environmental evidence required to understand the changing natural environment and its societal interactions, thus guiding current and future environmental management, policy, science and innovation priorities for economic benefit and quality of life".
Formal Mandate: 
National Government
The UK Environmental Observation Framework (UK-EOF) is an agreement between public sector funders of environmental observations to consider and value their observations in a joined up way. The UK-EOF will provide a strategic decision-making framework for optimising investments and measurements made by environmental observations (e.g. for research, policy and regulatory needs). The UK-EOF is championed by Professor Bob Watson, Chief Scientific Adviser, Defra and managed by its Member organisations who form the UK-EOF Management Group and report to the LWEC Partners Board. There is a small secretariat hosted by NERC, in Swindon. The agreed programme of work is set out in the Delivery Plan. Activities are championed by Management Group Members, facilitated by the secretariat and either partner, contract or secretariat led. The work programme is divided into 5 main areas to achieve the overall outcomes; some areas of work are currently inactive but will be considered in future work plans: Collective Aspirations (Workstream 1) which includes the Statement of Need and the Decision Support Framework Data Initiative (Workstream 2) including the Environmental Observation Activity Catalogue and the Focal Point Knowledge Transfer Financing Observations Community Many interlinkages occur within these work areas. Delivery relies on member participation and increased community consolidation.
The UK-EOF was launched in 2008 in response to the long term issues that surround environmental monitoring, observations and surveillance outlined in the Strategic analysis of UK environmental monitoring activity report. The study found that: The UK monitoring community is large and fragmented. The reasons for undertaking monitoring vary (including long-term research and informing policy development). Estimates for the total cost of monitoring by the UK ranges from a conservative £88 million per annum up to £500 million per annum. This may be an under-estimate as it does not include data collection by volunteers. Unsecured funding is a major risk to long-term datasets. Major gaps in UK environmental monitoring arise due to a lack of baseline data and data on long-term trends in specific topic areas. There is insufficient capacity to perform integrated monitoring and assessments. The UK-EOF will be a self contained 5 year programme of Living With Environmental Change (LWEC), funded by the major sponsors of environmental observations in the UK and delivered via a series of workstreams. Full details of the initiative can be found in the UK Environmental Observational Framework and the Delivery Plan. To date, exceptional progress was reported and the future challenges discussed, at the ERFF Main Board in November 2009. This is documented along with their recommendations in the Progress and Challenges report. The UK-EOF will now focus on providing strategic and operational leadership to support the dynamic work of its funders and stakeholders. Although some technological development of the tools will continue, the UK-EOF will increase direct engagement with the funders to facilitate uptake of the tools, add value and provide a neutral space in which organisations can discuss increasing efficiencies and collaborative working practices. It will enable funders and users to: see the entire observation/monitoring portfolio, understand the motivations of its various components, and will improve data accessibility and quality. Join up and collaborate at all levels from decision making to delivery of observation programs The scope covers all environmental observation/monitoring activities done for or by the UK and in Summer 2011 we will expand the scope to include environmental socio economic observations
The UK-EOF is governed by the UK-EOF Management Group. The Management Group meets quarterly and reports to the LWEC Partners Board at its twice-yearly meetings. The activities of the UK-EOF Management Group, will be set out in the UK-EOF Delivery Plan and Terms of Reference. Membership (March 2011): Doug Wilson (Chair) - Environment Agency Beth Greenaway - UK-EOF Project Manager Andrew Watkinson / Mary Barkham - Living With Enviromental Change Bruce Truscott - Met Office Caryn Le Roux - Welsh Government Cathy Johnson - Department of Energy & Climate Change David Allen - Countryside Council for Wales Ian Davidson - European Environment Agency / Global Monitoring for the Environment & Security / Shared Environmental Information System Keith Porter - Natural England Lawrence Way - Joint Nature Conservation Committee Liz Fox - Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs Michael Schultz - Natural Environment Research Council Nathan Critchlow-Watton - Scottish Environment Protection Agency Pat Corker - Northern Ireland Environment Agency Peter Costigan - Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs Rebekah Widdowfield - Scottish Government Richard Howe - Forestry Commission Richard Walmsley - Environment Agency Ruth Boumphrey - UK Space Agency / Department for Business, Innovation & Skills
The UK-EOF was launched in 2008 in response to the long term issues that surround environmental monitoring, observations and surveillance outlined in the Strategic analysis of UK environmental monitoring activity report. The study found that:

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • collect and describe user requirements related to Environmental policies
  • yes
  • contribute to awareness raising and training
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    United Kingdom
    Societal Sector
    Central Government and National Research Bodies
    Specific Expertise
    Specific Expertise: 
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    UK-EOF have supplied reference material to AnnexIII EMF TWG. The UK-EOF data model was used as a candidate for the EMF datamodel
    Environmental application domains
    Primary Business