EnviroInfo Conferences: Knowledge Exchange Platform for Information Technology in Environmental Sustainability Research - State 2011 and Outlook
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Innovations in Sharing Environmental Observations and Information
Beginning with its launch 2½ decades ago, the annual EnviroInfo conference has provided a platform for exchanging methods and tools in Environmental Informatics. This scientific discipline deals with the application of information and communication technologies (ICT) to primarily environmental matters. By combining the fields of ICT and computer science for environmental applications, Environmental Informatics has played an increasingly important role in addressing the needs of professions that extend from communication to administration and politics. Today, Environmental Informatics constitutes a community which develops IT tools, conducts studies, and produces scientific results in publications to provide wide access to a variety of environmental information needed to address existing requirements and guide planning for environmental sustainability. This paper starts with a short history of environmental protection in the information society. It uses the description of the state of informatics for environmental protection, sustainable development, and risk management that was put forth 5 years ago2 and aims to encompass the differential development of this discipline in between. On the basis of the Coordination and Support Action ICT-ENSURE, suggestions are offered for the further development of environmental informatics with an emphasis on supporting the integration of information that is highly relevant to sound and sustainable development.