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Analysis of Ecosystem Monitoring Data under Article 9 of Directive 2016/2284 (EU)


This project provides important input into the Commission report to the European Parliament and Council on the implementation of the National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive (2016/2284/EU), which is due by 1 April 2020. Under the NEC Directive, Member States are required to provide the Commission and EEA with 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. This project analyses the submitted data – including on completeness and quality –and assesses how the ecosystem monitoring and reporting process could be improved for future reporting rounds.

Project objectives

The project represents an important milestone in a long-term effort to improve understanding of the negative impacts of air pollution on ecosystems in the EU and identifies three specific objectives:

  1. Analyse the completeness and quality of the data to be reported by Member States by 1 July 2019 pursuant to Article 10(4)(a) of the NEC Directive.
  2. Analyse the data and develop a baseline for the Commission’s continued analysis of air pollution impacts on ecosystems per Member State and for the EU overall as a basis for establishing trends over time in the analysis of future reporting rounds.
  3. Assess whether/how the data submitted could be improved in terms of usefulness to the analysis of air pollution impacts on ecosystems and in terms of linkages with other reporting; develop recommendations where needed and appropriate for consideration by Member States and/or by the Commission.


The project team starts off by developing a rigorous spreadsheet-based data tool, referred to as the Information Analysis System (IAS). The IAS allows for consolidated data storage, as well as customizable analysis and visualization. When needed, data can be exported to other applications (e.g. GIS mapping). Subsequently, the project team screens the content and formats of the data reported by Member States and does a completeness check.  The former performs a qualitative and quantitative analysis of this data and develops a baseline for the Commission to use as a point of reference for future analyses. Finally, the project team identifies possible improvements to the ecosystem monitoring and reporting process based on their experience, but also through interviews with Member State contact points and the organization of a web conference with the Commission, EEA and key stakeholders. Ecologic Institute carries out the project alone.

Obligations for Member States under the new NEC Directive

In 2016, a new National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive (2016/2284/EU) entered into force, replacing Directive 2001/81/EC. This new Directive introduced new emission reduction commitments for five key air pollutants by 2020 and 2030.  Article 9 of the NEC Directive addresses the issue of monitoring effects on ecosystems, stating that “Member States shall ensure the monitoring of negative impacts of air pollution upon ecosystems based on a network of monitoring sites that is representative of their freshwater, natural and semi-natural habitats and forest ecosystem types, taking a cost-effective and risk-based approach.” Member States are required to provide the Commission and EEA with data from the monitoring framework for the first time by 1 July 2019 and to continue to do so every four years thereafter.

The NEC Directive acknowledges that monitoring is essential for assessing progress in reducing air pollution in the EU, as well as determining whether Member States are upholding their commitments.  It also obligates Member States to establish National Air Pollution Control Programmes.

Project ID
Air pollution, ecosystems, NEC Directive, Member States, EU-28
data analysis

Source URL: https://www.ecologic.eu/16657