This project supports EU Member States in fulfilling a part of their legal requirements under the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive (2016/2284/EU), by providing them with targeted capacity building as well as updating and developing the toolbox of ecosystem reporting tools. The latter includes proposing core parameters and harmonized protocols; drafting guidance on site selection; and updating the reporting template and corresponding technical guidance.
Under Article 9 of the NEC Directive, Member States are required to provide the Commission and EEA with monitoring data on the negative impacts of air pollution upon ecosystems, which they collect from a network of monitoring sites representative of their different habitats and forest ecosystem types. Member States were obligated to submit the location of monitoring sites by 1 July 2018 and monitoring data by 1 July 2019. Monitoring data collected subsequently must be submitted every four years thereafter.
The overall project goal is to provide guidance and training that will improve Member States' reporting of ecosystem monitoring sites and monitoring data in the next reporting cycle foreseen by the NEC Directive.
The support to Member States is based on two specific project objectives:
- To improve and complement the reporting template and corresponding technical guidance; and
- To identify specific difficulties encountered by some Member States in fulfilling the reporting requirements in an accurate, transparent, complete, and representative manner and develop capacity building for those Member States.
The project consist of two complementary tasks:
- offering Member State-specific capacity building; and
- providing Member State with an improved monitoring toolbox (parameters, protocols, templates and guidance).
The project team organizes over 12 webinars throughout the project, some for particular Member States and some for all Member States. Ecologic Institute leads the project, with support from Ramboll and the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.
Results from previous expert assessments point out reporting challenges
The ecosystem monitoring data provided by the Member States under the NEC Directive was provided for the first time in the context of improving the monitoring network that monitors the contributory effects of air pollution on diverse ecosystems.
Two separate expert assessments – one focused on monitoring sites and indicators, the other on monitoring data – found that some Member States had less extensive coverage and a lower quality of monitoring than others, while at the same time, many Member States faced a common set of challenges. The expert assessments were based on the data that EU Member States reported in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Ecologic Institute conducted the assessment focused on the monitoring data reported in 2019.