Digest for 95-04-21


                          Table of Contents

RECENT EMAIL . . .

#01-21 April 95   Sender: dmidnes@raz.csc.ncsu.edu (Diane Midness)
                  Subject: Help with Physics, Math summer camps

#02-21 April 95   Sender: Marcia Benedetto (marcieb@seattleu.edu)
                  Subject: Help with upcoming trip to Moscow

#03-21 April 95   Sender: VsM004836@aol.com
                  Subject: Re: #1(2) Digest for 95-04-18

#04-21 April 95   Sender: JEFFERSON REINHARD TURNER (bassguy@mercury.sfsu.edu)
                  Subject: Russian Email Services

#05-21 April 95   Sender: "John J. Ronald" (jamison@owlnet.rice.edu)
                  Subject: Bulgarian Contacts?

#06-21 April 95   Sender: kedzie@rand.org (Chris Kedzie)
                  Subject: Public Access E-mail Sites in Russia

#07-21 April 95   Sender: kedzie@rand.org (Chris Kedzie)
                  Subject: Decree on encryption in Russia

#08-21 April 95   Sender: "Charles R. Trew" (ctre@loc.gov)
                  Subject: Decree on encryption in Russia (fwd)

#09-21 April 95   Sender: Vlasta Molak (vlasta@TSO.Cin.IX.net)
                  Subject: Visiting Estern Europe (May 9-May 24)

#10-21 April 95   Sender: "Dr. Pyotr Johannevich van de Waal-Palms"                 
                          (palbank@eskimo.com)
                  Subject: Just exactly what are you doing in the FSU? (fwd)

#11-21 April 95   Sender: echristi@usgs.gov (Eliot Christian)
                  Subject: G7 Pilot Project


APPENDIX:        LISTSERV address & basic procedures

----------------------------------------------------------------------

E-MAIL POSTINGS . . .

Please continue to send your e-mail to friends@solar.rtd.utk.edu.


** 001 **********************************************************************

Sender: dmidnes@raz.csc.ncsu.edu (Diane Midness)
Subject: Help with Physics, Math summer camps

I have a request from a friend in Russia.  He has a son, Peter
who has won many awards and competitions in physics and math. 
Peter would like to come to the United States this summer to
teach younger students physics and math in a summer camp.  Can
anyone direct me to any such camps, especially one that might be
interested in him?  Peter just won A Soro's competition that will
give money for his travel to the US.  Peter's English is
excellent.  He did a great job interpreting for me two years ago
and continued to intensly study his English. His vitae is
included below.
    
    Thank you for your help,
    Diane Midness
    Media Coordinator Enloe High School
    Raleigh, NC, USA    
    e-mail:  dmidnes@raz.csc.ncsu.edu
             dmidness@nando.net


                        CURRICULUM VITAE

Name:              Levin Peter Iljich
Date of Birth:     June 12, 1977
Place of Birth:    Moscow, Russia

Education:
     1993 graduated school #503, Moscow;
     1993 graduated  Correspondence  School  of   Physics   and
          Mathematics under Moscow  Institute  of  Physics  and
          Technology;
     1993 to now Moscow Institute of  Physics  and  Technology,
                 Department of Common and Applied Physics;
     1993 to now Independent University of Moscow,  College  of
                 Mathematics.

Awards:
     1992 Kurchatov Olimpiade;
     1992 Olimpiade  of  Moscow  Institute   of   Physics   and
          Technology for school students;
     1992 Competition of "Quantum" magazine on physics;
     1992 Competition of "Quantum" magazine on mathematics;
     1993 All-Russia Competition "Candidate  for  University  -
          93" (correspondence tour)
     1993 International Tournament of Cities on Mathematics;
     1993 International Tournament of Cities on Physics;
     1994 Students' Olimpiade of Moscow Institute of Physics and
          Technology on Mathematics;
     1995 Students' Olimpiade of Moscow  Institute  of  Physics
          and Technology on Mathematics;
     1995 "Soros's Students" competition.

Educational activity:
     1994-1995 taking  part  in  organization  and  leading  of
               International Tournaments of  Cities on  Physics
               and Mathematics.

Foreign languages: English fluently.

** 002 **********************************************************************

Sender: Marcia Benedetto (marcieb@seattleu.edu)
Subject: Help with upcoming trip to Moscow

        I will be studying at the Academy of Nation Economy in Moscow
during late May and early June.  My interest is in the changes occurring
in the Russian legal system since I am a law student.
        I have 3 requests:
        1) I would like to hear from people about how the changes have
affected Russians, particularly with regards to personal lives and
business enterprises.
        2) I would like to brush up on my (admittedly poor) Russian
language skills, but I need some help finding and using software to
convert Cyrillic characters.
        3) I would appreciate any tips for visiting Moscow and St.
Petersburg.
        If anyone can help I would be most appreciative.  

** 003 **********************************************************************

Sender: VsM004836@aol.com
Subject: Re: #1(2) Digest for 95-04-18

I am interested to find if there is anyone residing in VYatka (kirov) in
Russia who has e-mail. Please respond to vsm004836. Thank you. vsm.

** 004 **********************************************************************

Sender: JEFFERSON REINHARD TURNER (bassguy@mercury.sfsu.edu)
Subject: Russian Email Services


Does anyone know if Russians have any Email services availible to them?  

I have a good friend beginning his study at an Engineering school in Ufa, 
Russia and I'm wondering how easy it could be for him to get an account 
on an account like we have here in the states (".edu" account or 
".compuserve.com", etc).  

If so, would it be possible to email Russia regularly?  How limited is 
comunication by Email to Russia or anywhere in the former Soviet Union?  
Would it be expensive?

If anyone can shed some light on how I can set up my friend with Email
communication, I can put that info in my next letter to him. (...which 
sometimes takes months to get to him ---) Email would be so much more 
efficient!)

Please send any information or comments to bassguy@sfsu.edu.

Thanks!

:)  bassguy


** 005 **********************************************************************

Sender: "John J. Ronald" (jamison@owlnet.rice.edu)
Subject: Bulgarian Contacts?

I am strongly considering going to Bulgaria this
summer...I have some contacts in Gorna Oryachovitsa, but
I need more contacts, perferably some in Sofia and others
on the Black Sea Coast.  I am hoping to wander around as
a free lance English (and German) teacher, teaching English
to a host family while learning Bulgarian myself.  I am
a native speaker of English, fluent speaker of German, and
a fair speaker of Russian.  I recently bought a self-instructional
book on Bulgarian and was delighted to see how much of it
I already could understand through my Russian.  

Bulgaria seems to be safer and more stable than the ex-USSR,
but with a language close enough to Russian (closer even than
Polish and Czech) that it is still a great way to practice
my skills.

Any suggestions about who to contact for homestays in Bulgaria,
or schools who need extra tutors, things like that?

Any info/help from the rest of you would be greatly 
appreciated...Thank you...

---John Ronald
        Graduate Student/TA
        Rice University
        Dept. of German  & Slavic Studies

e-mail:  jamison@owlnet.rice.edu

** 006 **********************************************************************

Sender: kedzie@rand.org (Chris Kedzie)
Subject: Public Access E-mail Sites in Russia

)Date: Wed, 19 Apr 95 11:45:22 EDT
)From: Tony Byrne - IREX (tbyrne@info.irex.org)

)
)Public-Access E-mail Sites in Russia
)
)The International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) maintains
)public-access e-mail stations at universities in Kazan',
)Novosibirsk,St. Petersburg and Vladivostok.  The stations
)are modelled after a site established by the Moscow-based Vega
)Laboratory.
)
)Support for this work has been provided by the US Agency for
)International Development through The Eurasia Foundation, and the
)Carnegeie Corporation of New York.
)
)
)ST PETERSBURG
)
)postmaster@pub.geogr.lgu.spb.su
)Anna Ler, monitor
)
)10-aya Linia, d. 33,
)2nd Floor, Room 73
)Faculty of Georgraphy
)(812) 213-06-27
)
)
)Individual dial-up access to the St. Petersburg University host
)can be arranged through the system administrators:
)
)Igor Nikolaev
)igor@pu.ru
)
)Glavnoe Zdanie, Room 8
)St. Petersburg State University
)Computer Support Department
)(812) 218-94-78
)
)
)NOVOSIBIRSK
)
)nskpub@locutus.nsu.nsk.su
)Andrei Dorofeev, Trainer
)
)Novosibirsk  630090
)Prospekt akademika Lavrent'eva, 6
)Vychislitel'ny Tsentr (Computing Center)
)IREX, komnata 441
)Ph: (383-2) 35-05-79
)
)
)KAZAN'
)
)root@open.ksu.ras.ru
)Elena Nikiforova, Trainer
)Roman Pavlov, Trainer
)
)Republic  of  Tatarstan
)420008, Kazan,
)Yl, Lenina, 18,
)Kazan State University,
)International Department,
)Ph: (8432) 38-73-21
)Ph/Fax: (8432) 38-73-90
)
)Individual dial-up access to the Kazan' host can be arranged
)through the system administrators:
)
)Dmitrii Solovev
)dos@ksu.ras.ru
)
)Ul. Universitetskaya, d. 17
)Kazan State University
)CIVT
)Ph:  (8432) 38-75-75
)            31-85-86
)
)VLADIVOSTOK
)
)diana@pub.marine.su
)Diana Zakirova, Trainer
)
)Vladivostok, Russia, 690600
)Far Eastern State Technical University;
)ul. Pushkinskaya 10;  rm. 105;
)ph: (4232) 26-76-28   or
)    (4232) 26-98-60.
)
)
)
)Scholars without personal e-mail addresses in the Russian
)Academy of Sciences and other academic institutions in Moscow
)may be contacted through the public station established by the
)Vega Laboratory:
)
)comm-pub@comlab.vega.msk.su
)
)
)Regards,
)
)Tony Byrne
)IREX
)

** 007 **********************************************************************

Sender: kedzie@rand.org (Chris Kedzie)
Subject: Decree on encryption in Russia


)Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 17:54:59 +0400
)From: "Igor V. Semenyuk" (iga@sovam.com)

)
)Gentle readers!
)
)I want to bring your attention to the recent Yeltsin's decree
)entitled "On the measures of law enforcement in design, production,
)implementation and use of encrypting tools, and also in offering
)services of information encyption".
)
)The decree has been issued on April, 3, 1995 and is in force
)from the publication date (April, 6, 1995, "Rossijskaja gazeta", N68).
)
)I have no English translation available, volunteers are welcome
)to do the translation (I can provide Russian KOI8 text).
)
)It is the worst re-incarnation of "Clipper"'s case, with the
)following pecularities:
)
)- unlike Clipper the decree explicitly prohibits use of *any*
)  encryption technology that doesn't have a certificate from FAPSI (Federal
)  Agency of State Communications and Information - former KGB department).
)
)- unlike Clipper there's no information about encryption technology
)  designed and implemented by FAPSI, which is supposed to be the
)  only allowed encryption technology
)
)- unlike Clipper there are no provisions for securing the procedure
)  of (possible) "backdoor" decryption of data by law-enforcement
)  bodies (under court warrant or whatever)
)
)- the decree prohibits import of non-certified encryption tools
)
)
)The ground for all these points is "fighting organized crime".
)
)The net result of the decree is that right now *any* encryption
)tool/method but the one offered by FAPSI is illegal and individuals
)and oragnizations using it may be prosecuted.
)
)With liberate interpretation of the decree unix password encryption may be
)found illegal, not mentioning zip and arj encryption.
)
)This may have a disastrous impact on all information/communicaton.
)
)I doubt anything similar to anti-Clipper movement can be done in
)Russia... It's a difference between Democracy and "democracy".
)
)Anyway may be media can bring attention to this problem.
)
)PS. I'm crossposting this to FSUMedia and IPRussia lists.
)    Feel free to re-distribute the message.
)
)--
)Igor V. Semenyuk                    Internet: iga@sovam.com
)SOVAM Teleport                      Phone:    +7 095 956 3008
)Moscow, Russia
)

** 008 **********************************************************************

Sender: "Charles R. Trew" (ctre@loc.gov)
Subject: Decree on encryption in Russia (fwd)



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 12:55:11 -0400 (EDT)
)From: Charles R. Trew (ctre@loc.gov)
To: balt-l@ib.rl.ac.uk
Subject: Decree on encryption in Russia (fwd)

      Check this out, not very good news I'm afraid. This is the latest 
in a series of actions taken in recent weeks reinvigorating the former 
KGB. Be advised, it's starting to get serious....

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 20 Apr 1995 17:54:00 +0400
)From: Igor V. Semenyuk (iga@sovam.com)
To: ctre@loc.gov
Subject: Decree on encryption in Russia

Gentle readers!

I want to bring your attention to the recent Yeltsin's decree
entitled "On the measures of law enforcement in design, production,
implementation and use of encrypting tools, and also in offering
services of information encyption".

The decree has been issued on April, 3, 1995 and is in force
from the publication date (April, 6, 1995, "Rossijskaja gazeta", N68).

I have no English translation available, volunteers are welcome
to do the translation (I can provide Russian KOI8 text).

It is the worst re-incarnation of "Clipper"'s case, with the
following pecularities:

- unlike Clipper the decree explicitly prohibits use of *any*
  encryption technology that doesn't have a certificate from FAPSI (Federal
  Agency of State Communications and Information - former KGB department).

- unlike Clipper there's no information about encryption technology
  designed and implemented by FAPSI, which is supposed to be the
  only allowed encryption technology

- unlike Clipper there are no provisions for securing the procedure
  of (possible) "backdoor" decryption of data by law-enforcement
  bodies (under court warrant or whatever)

- the decree prohibits import of non-certified encryption tools


The ground for all these points is "fighting organized crime".

The net result of the decree is that right now *any* encryption
tool/method but the one offered by FAPSI is illegal and individuals
and oragnizations using it may be prosecuted.

With liberate interpretation of the decree unix password encryption may be
found illegal, not mentioning zip and arj encryption.

This may have a disastrous impact on all information/communicaton.

I doubt anything similar to anti-Clipper movement can be done in
Russia... It's a difference between Democracy and "democracy".

Anyway may be media can bring attention to this problem.

PS. I'm crossposting this to FSUMedia and IPRussia lists.
    Feel free to re-distribute the message.

-- 
Igor V. Semenyuk                    Internet: iga@sovam.com
SOVAM Teleport                      Phone:    +7 095 956 3008
Moscow, Russia 

** 009 **********************************************************************

Sender: Vlasta Molak (vlasta@TSO.Cin.IX.net)
Subject: Visiting Estern Europe (May 9-May 24)


Dear Colegues:

I will be travelling to Moscow, Novosibirsk, Prague, Zagreb, Stuttgart and
Frankfurt (May 9-24, 1995), to lecture, teach and meet with professionals in
my field (environmental consulting).I am interested in meeting professionals
in those cities to discuss forming branches of my consulting company,
GAIA UNLIMITED, inc.  Also, I am interetsd in discussing possibilities for
cooperation in solving environmental problems in Eastern Europe.   If you re
interested in meeting with me and/or discussing possibiliites for cooperation,
please send me an E-mail.

Vlasta Molak

P.S.  I am enclosing description of my activities.
=========================================================================
Dr. Vlasta Molak, DABT
President
GAIA UNLIMITED, Inc.
8987 Cotillion Drive
Cincinnati, Ohio 45231

tel. 513/521-0506 or 513/521-9321
fax. 513/521-0506
E-mail: vlasta@tso.cin.ix.net
===========================================================================
                      Dr Vlasta Molak, DABT
                      President
                      GAIA UNLIMITED, Inc.
                      8987 Cotillion Drive
                      Cincinnati, OH 45231

                      tel. 513/521-0506  home. 513/521-9321
                      fax. 513/521-0506
                      E-mail: vlasta@TSO.cin.ix.net


Dr. Vlasta Molak is the International Coordinator and former
Secretary of the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA).  In that role she
has served to increase the SRA standing in international community
and the establishing sections of the SRA in developing countries
and Eastern Europe.  In 1989 she convened an International
Communication network to promote uses of risk analysis in solving
some of the environmental problems resulting from misuse of
technology.  On her several trips to Eastern Europe and former
Soviet Union, Dr. Molak initiated activities to start chapters of
SRA in Prague (Czechoslovakia), Zagreb (Croatia), Osijek (Croatia),
Warsaw (Poland), Budapest (Hungary), Moscow (Russia) and Kharkov
(Ukraine) with interested scientists, engineers, and policy makers
in those countries.  She had also given lectures and conducted
round table discussions in Zagreb and Kharkov on The Uses of Risk
Analysis in Evaluating and Ranking Environmental Problems, which
were attended by professionals from diverse fields interested in
solving their countries pressing environmental problems.   Dr.
Molak is a founder and President of GAIA UNLIMITED, Inc. with
Headquarters in Cincinnati, and an office in Zagreb, Croatia and
is expanding its activities and offices to other parts of Eastern
Europe.

She participated at the 4-day workshop on "How to improve
environmental awareness of local decision makers in Eastern Europe,
sponsored by the European Commission".  As a part of her
international activities she also chaired the Environmental
Committee of the Cincinnati-Kharkov Sister City Project.  She was
a part of the official Cincinnati delegation to Kharkov.  In May
of 1993, Dr. Molak taught in a training program organized by Taft's
University Environmental Management Program in Brazil at the
University of Cuiaba and University of Sao Paulo on "Environmental
Risk Assessment and Risk Management" for professionals involved in
Brazilian environmental management.  She also taught a course at
the United Nations headquarters (New York) on  "The Use of Risk
Analysis in Sustainable Development".

Dr. Molak is the founder and president of the Biotechnology Forum,
Inc. in Cincinnati and chairs the Subcommittee for Technical
Interpretation of the Local Emergency Planning Committee for
Hamilton County, Ohio.  Under her leadership, the Biotechnology
Forum has organized series of lectures and workshops in
biotechnology area.  The latest workshop, The Alaska Story: In
the Context of Oil Spill Problems in the Marine Environments, with
special emphasis on the biological clean-up efforts, resulted in
the proceedings edited by Dr. Molak.

As a chair of the Subcommittee for Technical Interpretation, Dr.
Molak initiated the efforts for hazard analysis in Hamilton County
and formulated the strategy to complete the first stage of hazard
analysis.  Currently she is coordinating the efforts to deal with
more complex aspects of chemical safety: process safety in
manufacturing plants; transportation of hazardous materials;
and adverse effects of routine chronic releases of toxic chemicals.
Dr. Molak believes that her professional expertise in risk analysis
should be applied for the betterment of the community in which she
lives.

Dr. Molak has worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
and at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
(NIOSH) on developing methodologies for risk analysis of toxic
chemicals.  These methodologies are used to derive various
environmental and occupational criteria, which serve as a basis for
standards.

Dr. Molak has worked for a private environmental consulting company
and now she is the founder and President of GAIA UNLIMITED, Inc.,
her own consulting company dealing with environmental and
occupational risk assessment, risk management and general
environmental problems, including strategies for pollution
prevention.   She is teaching various courses for risk analysis
(including courses for local and state governments) and is a member
of the Comparative Risk Analysis studies for Ohio and for the
Hamilton County (Cincinnati).

Her training is interdisciplinary: she has a B.S. in physical
engineering, an M.S. in chemistry, a Ph.D. in biochemistry and
post-doctoral training in molecular genetics.  Dr. Molak is a
Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology (DABT).

-----FORWARDER'S COMMENTS:

** 010 **********************************************************************

Sender: "Dr. Pyotr Johannevich van de Waal-Palms" (palbank@eskimo.com)
Subject: Just exactly what are you doing in the FSU? (fwd)



---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 95 13:04:29 +0200 (KIV)
)From: Dave Stickney (dave@caaa.freenet.kiev.ua)
To: palbank@eskimo.com, Postmaster@usaid.freenet.kiev.ua
Cc: moors@duq2.cc.duq.edu, USAID.WCO@ORTEL, usaid@usaid.gov
Subject: Just exactly what are you doing in the FSU?


Dear Mr. Bouser, Ms. Jennings, Dr. Moors and Ms. Urda,

        Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to read what I have
        written you,  I'll try to keep it to the point.

        I am an very proud American citizen who has lived in Ukraine for the
        last 6 months. I am a disabled (80%) US war veteran, United Nations
        Volunteer ((ECOSOC) UNDPI, UNICEF, UNCED & UNESCO), and for the last 5
        months, I have ran an intensive project in Cherkassy Ukraine.

        During that time I have been in contact with thousands of poeple, many
        working on the same problems we face in our mutual roles in the FSU.
        During that time I have also come in contact with several
        organizations funded by the US Government through your organizations
        too. This is the reason I am writing you with 3 questions. If  you
        could find time to answer these, I'm sure we could save alot of
        similiar questions in the future by making sure anyone with a
        question already has the answer.

        (1) Why is it possible for an organization to waste American Taxpayers
        dollars, and simply over document it all. Why when more cost effect,
        and just plain effective plans to achieve the ultimate goal the US
        taxpayers have given you, do you choose perhaps the less effective but
        perhaps more comfortable option?

        If you are interested in a very good example, I can provide you with
        a recent experience with your funds granted to Counterpart, Please
        feel free to write me on the matter.

        (2) Why are the needs of as situation not assesed before allotting
        millions of dollars to them?

        Have you missed the most important aspect of the reform processes
        you are trying to aid? I find it very hard to believe that in the
        years since the fall of the SU, that everyone here does not agree that
        the mass education of entire countries has to take place.  Why then
        hasn't this been addressed at that scale. With all the technology and
        money availible hasn't telecommunication and tele-education been used
        in a massive format. Basic marketing would say to use define the goal
        and use the most effective medium to achieve your goals. In few short
        minutes a could think of quite a few ways, 4-5 AM radio station would
        reach every one with a radio in Ukraine, and the equipment could be
        the most minimal with access to existing towers.

        (3) When will US AID address corruption in the countries it aids?

        I can go to the center of Kiev and buy medicine from the black market
        that would never be seen in a Cherkassy Hospital. Shipments given to
        underpaid goverment officials are often never used for the intended
        purpose. (Ministry of Health, Humanitarian aid, and countless oblast
        based organizations)

        What good are business incubators if the are placed in areas or
        situations where business is inhibited by corruption. The people are
        very uninformed about factors influencing thier lives. The mass
        informing of these people would enable them to make educated decisions
        about the real factors in thier lives.

        I hate the Idea of Giving Handouts to Criminals, the people of Ukraine
        and Russia need to know the facts, they don't. There is not enough
        money in the world to aid all the people of the FSU unless that money
        deals  with recapitilization and corruption education for the mass
        population. Why should we aid the building of new currupt social
        infrastructures?

        I have never requested a penney from US AID, never will, you wouldn't
        give it to me because I don't have a us based office to make up a 40%
        overhead figure. I can live with that.

        I know very well that Dr. Palms have made Dozens of requests to
        provide information like that attached to this message. This type of
        information attackes the very root of all the problems, yet has
        recieved no type of implementation by your funds. I can't live with
        that.

        I ask that special consideration be given to the advise freely given
        by Dr. Palms be listened to, and considered when granting funds to aid
        FSU countries. I also hope that you would give special considerations
        to the ideas he has given you on that matter as well.

Respectfully Yours,
        David R. Stickney

Attached: A mailing from Dr. Palms.

Date: Sat, 1 Apr 1995 07:47:06 -0800 (PST)
)From: "Dr. Piotr Johannevich van de Waal-Palms" (palbank@eskimo.com)
Subject: $20 billion dollars in cash $100 bills transported to Russia via Republic 
national Bank of new York, by Dr. Pyotr Johannevich van de , Waal-Palms
Message-Id: (Pine.SUN.3.91.950401074232.22918B-100000-100000@eskimo.com)

                                RUSSIA
               THE BEGINNING OF THE END - OF THE BEGINNING

NOTE:  This article is available from the Dr. Palms archive (on the F&P
       Economics and Business page) or directly via URL:   
         http://solar.rtd.utk.edu/~ppalms/beginning.of.end.html

** 011 **********************************************************************

Sender: echristi@usgs.gov (Eliot Christian)
Subject: G7 Pilot Project

Below is the text of a pilot project approved by the G7 (Canada, France,
Germany Italy, Japan, U.K., and U.S.) at the Ministerial conference in
Brussels. The idea is to build on existing international efforts to create a
Global Information Locator service definition, modeled on the U.S.
Government Information Locator; to further interconnect catalogs and
directories around the world and ensure their accessibility to developed and
developing countries; and to facilitate the exchange and integration of
information about the Earth for use in a variety of applications. Ten other
piot projects were also approved: Global Inventory, Global Interoperability
for Broadband Networks,  Cross-Cultural Training and Education, Electronic
Museums and Galleries, Electronic Libraries, Global Emergency Management,
Global Healthcare Management, Government Online, Global Marketplace for
SME's, and Maritime Information Systems.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

The Environment and Natural Resources Management Project

Description/Scope

Governments, multilateral organizations, non-governmental organizations,
educational and research institutions and private bodies maintain a wealth
of information about the state of the Earth and its inhabitants. That
information can have a profound impact on our ability to protect our
environment, manage natural resources, prevent and respond to disasters and
ensure sustainable development. However, the full potential of global
information holdings is not being realized because they are not yet
integrated in a way that facilitates informed decision making by policy
makers and individual citizens. The Global Information Infrastructure is
making that crucial integration possible. Already, organizations like the
Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) are working to improve
linkages among satellite operators and supporting data systems. As the GII
progresses, in situ observations can be better managed and shared, and
space-based data will be integrated more easily with other types of
observations. Observations can be combined with information on demographics,
economics, health, policy and environmental technology to enable better
understanding of the interactions between human activity and the state of
the environment. The G-7 members should recognize the importance of
enhancing global environmental information exchange and integration, build
consensus on a global information framework, and continue to support
existing network and standards activities. The G-7 members should also
commit to a joint project that would enhance and invigorate ongoing efforts
while demonstrating the potential of a full-fledged GII. That project would
enable use of the information infrastructure and information management
technologies to address key environmental issues.

Information relevant to environmental issues is held by numerous entities.
Even within individual governments, data is often divided between different
agencies and individual offices. While emerging information technologies
have enabled some information sharing, it is still not possible to easily
identify, locate and access all of the information resources that might be
brought to bear on important environmental issues. Users could search
distributed databases of observations, statistics, and other information
from all relevant sources worldwide if these data were accessible through a
coordinated global network.

The G-7 should demonstrate the potential benefits of such coordination by
recognizing and supporting ongoing international initiatives and expanding
them to cover the broad spectrum of environmental information exchange
needs. Attention should be directed to several levels of information
infrastructure: indexes of data sets that already exist, interconnection of
catalogs and directories describing databases and how to obtain data from
them, sharing and increasing compatibility of actual data and information to
apply to specific projects, and digitizing and managing data that has been
collected, but is held in individual repositories in non-electronic forms.
The G-7 would expand and test interoperability by exchanging and attempting
to integrate information regarding specific issues of concern to developed
and developing nations. Possible target areas could include the issues
identified in Agenda 21, the action plan endorsed at the Earth Summit. Those
issues include deforestation, biodiversity and desertification. Other
possible target issues include air quality, stratospheric ozone, vegetation
cover, land use, hydrological hazards, water resources, and marine data. The
long-term result of this effort would be a virtual library of information
held in globally distributed electronic databases accessible on emerging
electronic networks. 

The project would not require new data collection or network construction,
but rather would capitalize on existing data resources and network efforts.
The project would maximize the return on previously invested funds by
synthesizing the data currently collected, making them much more valuable
than they ever could have been in isolation. The project would focus on
enhancing access to data already in digital databases by adopting compatible
technical and policy approaches and sharing both data and data description
information (metadata). The participants would begin by sharing descriptions
of their currently available databases and their involvement in ongoing
international coordination efforts. Successful focused projects already
underway would be evaluated as models for G-7 cooperation, and a plan would
be developed for achieving a fully integrated multi-layer information system
for issues related to the environment. Efforts focusing on specific
environmental topics would be identified and pursued. Those projects would
build upon ongoing projects and apply the lessons learned to date in both
successful and unsuccessful experiences, with results monitored and reported
back to the G-7.

Objectives

The objective of this G-7 joint project would be to increase the electronic
linkage and integration of distributed databases of information relevant to
the environment. A group of experts, representing each participating body,
would build on existing international efforts to create a Global Information
Locator service definition, such as the U.S. Government Information Locator;
to further interconnect catalogs and directories around the world and ensure
their accessibility to developed and developing countries; and to facilitate
the exchange and integration of information about the Earth for use in a
variety of applications. The project would demonstrate the breadth of
information already existing internationally, and show the mutual benefits
of improved accessibility for policy makers, researchers, and the general
public. 

Expected Impacts

The project would protect the environment by harnessing the resources of
researchers and policy makers worldwide who are attempting to solve
environmental problems. A global network of information regarding the
current state of the environment, demographic and economic statistics, and
successful environmental policies and technologies would enable public
policy makers and citizens to make more informed decisions about actions
that impact the environment. Use of the information contained in the virtual
database, and the mechanisms developed for further sharing of environmental
information, would also promote improved natural resources management,
emergency management, and sustainable development. 

Effective policy making with regard to natural resource utilization depends
on assessments of the effects of utilization on regional and global
environments. Bringing together information from environmental observing
systems and historical information repositories would provide the guidance
needed for successful management of the natural resources critical to human
survival and to industrial activity.

Up-to-date and comprehensive environmental information from a variety of
sources would support monitoring and assessment of natural disaster
conditions, such as the recent flooding in Europe and earthquakes in Japan.

Sharing environmental and related information would facilitate informed
decision making and thus promote sustainable development around the globe.
For example, with access to information about environmental technologies
already developed elsewhere, developing nations would be able to deploy
advanced technologies for pollution prevention, waste minimization and
energy efficiency, thus promoting sustainable development. Agenda 21
emphasizes that sustainable development requires the kind of global
partnership exemplified by this project.

Finally, data sharing and progress toward integration would enhance
governmental efficiency. The project would maximize the return on previously
invested government funds by synthesizing the data currently collected,
making them much more valuable than they ever could have been in isolation.

Implementation

Existing Collaborative Activities

This project would capitalize on existing data resources and networks. A
brief sample of existing or planned collaborative or interdisciplinary
activities involving environmental data and information networking include:

-- The Global Observation Information Network (GOIN) initiative, endorsed by
the U.S.-Japan Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective and led
by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Japanese
Science and Technology Agency. The GOIN initiative is working toward
comprehensive connectivity and interoperability between U.S. and Japanese
environmental networks for global observation data and was undertaken as a
possible prototype for broadening to a global environmental network,
discussions of which have begun in the Committee on Earth Observation
Satellites.

-- The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS). CEOS, originally an
outgrowth of the G-7 which has subsequently expanded to include numerous
other countries and organizations, serves as a focal point for international
coordination of space-related Earth observation activities. CEOS coordinates
the development of compatible data products, formats, services, applications
and policies. CEOS working groups have developed successful ongoing
experiments in interoperability of data catalogs across international
networks. CEOS sponsors the CEOS International Directory Network (IDN), an
international effort for expediting information on available datasets for
researchers and other users through three Coordinating Nodes, which maintain
copies of the IDN available on-line at no cost to the user. The CEOS IDN
also has broad involvement through cooperating nodes in other countries.
Information technology for establishing virtual database directories may
provide a vehicle for upgrading the access to and value of the IDN.

-- The European Earth Observing System (EEOS). The European Union together
with the European Space Agency, Eumetsat, and other space organizations in
Europe is leading a project to set up this comprehensive data distribution
network in Europe, which will support the environment and will be designed
to be interoperable with such networks in other parts of the world.

-- The International Organization for Standardization ISO 10162/19163. This
standard will include the International Standardized Profile for a Global
Information Locator service definition, modeled on the U.S. Government
Information Locator Service (GILS) Application Profile.

-- The International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee on
Geomatics/Geographic Information (TC211). The committee is working to
develop standards for geospatial data.

-- Global Climate, Global Ocean, and Global Terrestrial Observing Systems
(GCOS, GOOS, and GTOS), established by certain United Nations agencies and
the International Council of Scientific Unions.  The systems are designed to
meet the scientific observation and data requirements for monitoring the
climate, oceans and terrestrial spheres.

-- Regional networks and institutes for Global Change Research Initiative,
endorsed by the U.S.-Japan Common Agenda. These include the Inter-American
Institute for Global Change Research, Asia-Pacific Network on Global Change
Research, and European Network for Research in Global Change.

-- The U.S. Global Change Data and Information System (GCDIS) and its
participating agencies' systems. The federal agencies involved in the U.S.
Global Change Research Program are cooperating in developing the GCDIS,
which builds on each agency's mission and resources and links its data and
information resources to those of other agencies and to users. The approach
to implementation of GCDIS is not to create a whole new environmental
information system for the agencies, but rather to develop a layer of
interoperability on top of existing systems to arrive at an integrated
environmental data and information system.

-- The inter-agency U.S. Federal Geographic Data Committee, which is working
on activities to evolve the National Spatial Data Infrastructure to
facilitate access to highest quality geospatial data among all levels of
government and within the private sector in the U.S. This effort involves
metadata, an Internet based electronic clearinghouse, and geospatial data
standards.

-- The UK Inter-agency Committee on Global Environmental Change, which
oversees development of GENIE. GENIE will bring together catalogue and
directory information about environmental data sets within the U.K.

-- United Nations efforts, including INFOTERRA, Global Environmental
Monitoring System, Global Resource Information Database, and Sustainable
Development Network.

-- Environment Canada's Green Lane initiative, which provides a model for
sharing environmental information with the public via the World Wide Web.

-- Activities of the European Environment Agency.

Wherever possible, the virtual database created by the G-7 joint project
should be interoperable with the above efforts. Thus, both the importance of
ongoing projects and the usefulness of integrating them would be highlighted.

Types of Participants Involved/Required

The virtual database could initially be constructed by linking the data of
participating G-7 nations and their ongoing collaborative efforts.  However,
the usefulness of the database would be enhanced by participation of other
nations, international scientific research programs, the various programs of
the United Nations System and other international organizations,
non-governmental organizations, universities and private entities. 

Basic Conditions for Participation

This project would not aim to collect new data. Participants would need to
be willing to make existing digitized data available for electronic data
exchange. The data would be maintained by each contributing body. 

Participation would require network connectivity, willingness to make
existing data available for electronic data exchange, willingness to
cooperate on efforts to promote interoperability, and commitment to
maintaining data quality.

Mechanisms for Possible Extension to Other Countries

Non-G-7 nations and other interested parties would be encouraged to
participate in the project, since the usefulness of the database would be
enhanced by a diversity of data sources. 

In countries with limited computing facilities, national nodes could be
established where all of a country's contributions could be archived and
added to the system. Entities with limited resources or limited access to
communications infrastructure might be able to enter into partnerships with
participants willing to add the newcomers' data to their on-line collections. 

Full-fledged global participation would depend on expansion of network
connectivity, which is especially limited in sub-Sahara Africa and the
Central Asian Republics of the former Soviet Union.

Estimated Cost

This project would require few new resources because it would utilize
existing networks and existing data collections. Staff time would have to be
devoted to efforts to collaborate on standards. Data providers interested in
participating would then need to take necessary actions to make their data
comply with those standards.

Timetable

The project will involve the following actions, progress on which will be
reported to the G-7 at fora like the upcoming summit in Halifax:

-- Convening of a group of experts, including representatives from G-7
nations and others interested in contributing, to coordinate ongoing
efforts, identify areas that should be addressed in order to facilitate
further interoperability and integration, and develop a plan for achieving a
fully integrated multi-layer information system for issues related to the
environment;

-- Identification of target issue areas in which to apply the ideas and
facilitate the goals generated by the expert group;

-- Identification of data to be contributed;

-- Establishment of a data index and virtual database according to protocols
agreed to by the expert group.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Eliot Christian, US Geological Survey, 802 National Center, Reston VA 22092
echristi@usgs.gov Phone(703)648-7245 FAX(703)648-7069


----------------------- END FRIENDS April 21, 1995 ---------------------

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