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Report Submitted by Venezuela to the Fourth International Workshop on the CSD Indicators of Sustainable Development
Hosted by the Government of the Czech Republic in Prague
19-21 January 1998



The establishment in 1994 of the Environmental Statistics and Information Centre, within the Directorate of Environmental Information of the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Renewable Resources, was the first stage in the development of an environmental statistics programme.

To date, the Centre has produced Venezuela's first State of the Environment Report, released in 1995, and a condensed English version was published in 1996.

A second stage of the programme contemplates the development of an Environmental Information System whose primary objective is to provide an integrated and accessible environmental data base, designed to facilitate the acquisition, compilation and analysis of data required to complement the environmental impact assessment, and environmental quality monitoring project activities, as well as the calculation of indicators of sustainable development.


The specific objectives of this project are to:

  1. promote a better understanding of management of complex ecological systems;
  2. facilitate user access to integrated data banks; and
  3. promote a common and more consistent interpretation capability of data.
Concept of the system:

The proposed system would be built upon MARNR's existing systems to take advantage of previous investments and maintain the required flexibility to incorporate new data sets as needed. New investment would be directed to providing the development of linkages between these existing data sets facilitating increased access and exchange of data and be based on MARNR's existing PCS. Where practical, the proposed system would use common, "user-friendly" software for analysis to ensure consistency in data standards and quality.


Under the project, the following activities would be supported:

  1. transformation and storage of data from selected data banks to a geographical reference system to facilitate rapid access and use by environmental managers, researchers and other environmental data users and decision-makers;
  2. establishment of a data management system to integrate existing PC-based systems;
  3. establishment of a Board of Directors to provide the needed coordination among the various ministerial directorates required to establish an integrated data system;
  4. strengthening MARNR's Environmental Statistics and Information Centre which would serve as the secretariat to the aforementioned Board of Directors and serve as manager for the project;
  5. develop a network of four or five "ecological science stations" selected from representative regions of the country for the use as a basis to support long-term ecological research and providing a basis to better understand the components and dynamics of each ecosystem; and
  6. provision for public access to environmental data, to facilitate the direct participation in processes leading to pollution control and environmental quality.

The following requirements are identified:

  1. office equipment (including required computer hardware and software),
  2. radar and satellite images,
  3. additional personnel,
  4. training, and
  5. technical assistance.

The proposed system would be implemented in phases beginning with priority regions and data needs. MARNR has indicated the development of a prototypical data management system for pollution control, subsequent to which other elements from other data sets could be added to increase data power and its usefulness for decision-making.

Expected results/products:

The following outputs are expected:

  1. environmental data would be stored in an orderly and systematic manner providing rapid access for managers, researchers and other environmental data users;
  2. integration of existing and future data systems into a common data management system while retaining module independence;
  3. provision of open access to environmental data serving to improve the public consultation and participation process in environmental planning and management;
  4. guidelines and protocols for information management;
  5. state-of-the-environment reports; and
  6. reports to assist MARNR to assess compliance with environmental regulations.

Ultimately, the Environmental Statistics and Information Centre is to provide an integrated information, so that decisions can be made taking all key environmental factors into account.

Venezuela has participated as a pilot country for the testing of the CSD Indicators of Sustainable Development, with the Environmental Statistics and Information Centre as the focal point.

For the pilot project, 33 indicators from the CSD list which were relevant to national priorities, were selected to be tested; but due to time restrictions, only 13 indicators have been tested and reported according to the indicator report sheets.

The indicators tested were:

  • Unemployment rate
  • Women per 100 men in labour force
  • Percentage of population with sewage facilities
  • Access to safe drinking water
  • Rate of growth of urban population
  • Debt service vs. Exports
  • Land use change
  • Use of pesticides
  • Monthly rainfall index
  • Endangered species as a percentage of total native species
  • Ambient concentration of air pollutants in urban areas
  • Protected forest area as a percentage of total forest area
  • Access to information

At the moment, the draft report is available only in Spanish.

For further information, please contact:

Ms. Maria Legorburu
Centro de Informacion y Estadisticas Ambientales
Ministerio del Ambiente y de los Recursos Naturales Renovables
Esquina y Edif. Camejo, Mezzanina Este
Caracas 1010, Venezuela
Tel. no.: (58-2) 541-4364
Fax no.: (58-2) 541-3820