Realising the importance of Environmental Information, the Government of India, in December, 1982, established an Environmental Information System (ENVIS) as a plan programme. The focus of ENVIS since inception has been on providing environmental information to decision makers, policy planners, scientists and engineers, research workers, etc. all over the country.

Since environment is a broad-ranging, multi-disciplinary subject, a comprehensive information system on environment would necessarlly involve effective participation of concerned institutions/ organisations in the country that are actively engaged in work relating to different subject areas of environment. ENVIS has, therefore, developed itself with a network of such participating institutions/organisations for the programme to be meaningful. A large number of nodes, known as ENVIS Centres, have been established in the network to cover the broad subject areas of environment with a Focal Point in the Ministry of Environment & Forests.

Both the Focal Point as well as the ENVIS Centres have been assigned various responsibilities to achieve the Long-term & Short-term objectives. For this purpose, various services has been introduced by the Focal Point. ENVIS due to its comprehensive network has been designed as the National Focal Point (NFP) for INFOTERRA, a global environmental information network of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In order to strengthen the information activities of the NFP, ENVIS was designated as the Regional Service Centre (RSC) of INFOTERRA of UNEP in 1985 for the South Asia Sub-Region countries.

Objective of Environmental Information System

Long-term objectives:

  • To build up a repository and dissemination centre in Environmental Science and Engineering.
  • To gear up the modern technologies of acquistion, processing, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information of environmental nature; and .
  • To support and promote research, development and innovation in environmental information technology.

Short-term objectives:

  • To provide national environmental infformaion service relevant to present needs and capable of development to meet the future needs of users, originator, processors and disseminators of information;
  • To build up storage, retrieval and dissemination capabilities with the ultimate objectives of disseminating information speedily to the users;
  • To promote, national and international cooperation and liasion for exchange of environment related information;
  • To promote, support and assist education and personnel training programmes designed to enhance environmental information processing and utilisation capabilities;
  • To promote exchange of information amongst developing countries.

Responsibilites of Focal Points & ENVIS Resource Partner

Both the Focal Point as well as the ENVIS Centres have been assigned various responsibilities. The broad responsibilities of the Focal Point and ENVIS Centres are as under :

Responsibilities of Focal Point

  • Overall coordination of ENVIS network;
  • Identification of ENVIS Centres in specialised areas, their location in selected institutes/organisations and their linkage with the Focal Point;
  • Farming guidlines and uniform desiging procedures for ENVIS Centres;
  • Collection, storage, retrieval and dissemination of information on areas in which ENVIS Centres have not been established and in some general areas of environment like environmental research, environmental policy and management, environmental legislation, environmental impact assessment, etc.;
  • Responding to user queries directly or through the ENVIS Centres;
  • Establishment of Data Bank containing data on some selected parameters, and computerisation in important application areas of environment;
  • Identification of data gaps and knowledge gaps in specified subject areas and action to fill these gaps;
  • Liasion with relevant International Information Systems and other national information systems;
  • Publication of a quarterly abstracting journal Paryavaran Abstracts;
  • Bringing out various other publications on current awareness services;
  • Organising training and seminars;
  • Monitoring and rewiewing of ENVIS; and
  • Assisting the Scientific Advisory Committee of ENVIS with inputs and rendering other secretarial help.

Responsibilities of ENVIS Resource Partner:

  • Building up a good collection of books, reports and journals in the particular subject area of environment;
  • Establishment of linkages with all information sources in the particular subject area of environment;
  • Responding to user queries;
  • Establishment of a data bank on some selected parameters relating to the subject area;
  • Coordination with the Focal Point for supplying relevant, adequate and timely information to the users;
  • Helping the Focal Point in gradually up an inventory of information material available at the Centre; identification of information gaps in the specified subject areas and action to
  • Fill these gaps;
  • Bringing out newsletters/publications in their subject area for wide dissemination

For more information click Website : http://www.envis.nic.in