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Reliable collections of science-based environmental information are vital for many groups of users and for a number of purposes. For example, electric utility companies predict demand during heat waves, structural engineers design buildings to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes, water managers monitor each winter's snow pack, and farmers plant and harvest crops based on daily weather predictions. Understanding the impact of human activities on climate, water, ecosystems, and species diversity, and assessing how natural systems may respond in the future are becoming increasingly important for public policy decisions.

Environmental information systems gather factual information, transform it into information products, and distribute the products to users. Typical uses of the information require long-term consistency; hence the operation of the information system requires a long-term commitment from an institution, agency, or corporation. The need to keep costs down provides a strong motivation for creating multipurpose information systems that satisfy scientific, commercial and operational requirements, rather than systems that address narrow objectives. Resolving Conflicts Arising from the Privatization of Environmental Data focuses on such shared systems.

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Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2001. Resolving Conflicts Arising from the Privatization of Environmental Data. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/10237.

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Publication Info

113 pages | 6 x 9 | Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-309-07583-1
DOI: https://doi.org/10.17226/10237
Chapters skim
Front Matter i-xiv
THE NEED FOR RELIABLE INFORMATION 1-2
THE ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION SYSTEM TREE 3-3
A PROCESS FOR NEGOTIATING AMONG STAKEHOLDERS 4-4
COMMERCIALIZATION AND PRIVATIZATION 5-6
A CHANGING WORLD 7-10
THE INFORMATION TREE 11-12
ORGANIZATION OF THE REPORT 13-14
SCIENTIST VIEWS 15-18
PRIVATE-SECTOR VIEWS 19-22
GOVERNMENT AGENCY VIEWS 23-24
POLICY MAKER VIEWS 25-26
GENERAL PUBLIC VIEWS 27-28
3 Environmental Information Systems 29-30
Elements of the Information System 31-34
The Cycle for Updating Environmental Information Systems 35-36
DATA POLICY 37-39
Economic Characteristics of the Provision of Environmental Information 40-41
The Rationale for Public Funding for the Trunk and Roots 42-45
The Potential for Commercializing Branches 46-47
The Potential for Purchasing Data From Commercial Entities 48-48
REQUIREMENTS OF PUBLIC-PURPOSE ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION TREES 49-52
5 War and Peace Among Stakeholders 53-53
Potential Conflicts in the Roots 54-58
Potential Conflicts in the Trunk 59-62
Potential Conflicts in the Branches 63-64
Confidential Government Data 65-67
INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS 68-71
OVERALL LESSONS LEARNED 72-72
THE NEED FOR A PROCESS OF NEGOTIATING AMONG STAKEHOLDERS 73-74
Purchasing Data for Scientific Research 75-77
Purchasing Value-Added Products and Services 78-78
GUIDELINES FOR INTERACTIONS BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND PRIVATE-SECTOR ORGANIZATIONS 79-79
Purchasing Data and Public-Private Partnerships 80-80
Commercializing Government Data 81-81
Privatizing Government Functions 82-83
Privatizing Branches 84-85
Privatizing Roots 86-88
Appendixes 89-90
Appendix A Scientific Practices 91-94
COPYRIGHT AND FAIR USE 95-96
CONTRACT 97-98
Appendix C Acronyms 99-99

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