Areas managed, regulated or used for reporting at international, European, national, regional and local levels. Includes dumping sites, restricted areas around drinking water sources, nitrate-vulnerable zones, regulated fairways at sea or large inland waters, areas for the dumping of waste, noise restriction zones, prospecting and mining permit areas, river basin districts, relevant reporting units and coastal zone management areas.
The theme "Area management/restriction/regulation zones and reporting units” is thematically broad and encompasses any zones that are established in accordance with a legislative requirement related to an environmental policy or a policy or activity that may have an impact on the environment at any level of administration (international, European, national and sub-national).
The zones are typically established to deliver specific objectives related to any environmental media, for example, air, water, soil and biota (plants and animals). This includes, but is not limited to, objectives established to protect and improve environmental quality (includes reducing pollution levels), protect and conserve environmental and natural resources, protect and control risk from natural and man-made hazards, protect plant, animal and human health or control development.
The theme also addresses reporting units, which are defined as "spatial objects that provide the spatial reference for any non-spatial data exchanged under environmental reporting obligations.” The reported non-spatial data must include a property that contains a reference to the spatial object. This is typically an identifier, code or name and is a join key between the spatial and non-spatial objects enabling the data to be combined. This allows the non-spatial data to be visualised as a map or enable spatial analysis.
Different INSPIRE spatial object types can perform the role of "Reporting Unit”. For example, surface waters (rivers, lakes and canals from the Annex I theme Hydrography) are "Reporting Units” for indicators of chemical and ecological status. Thus, Reporting units cannot be modelled as a distinct spatial object type and no specific reporting units data model is defined. Instead, the theme defines obligations on how to make reporting units spatial data available under INSPIRE.