The major public funders of environmental science have recognised that:
"The UK needs a suite of environmental observations to tackle the challenges associated with our changing natural environment. These must span all environmental media, accommodate temporal and spatial variability, and allow changes to be assessed in the short, medium and long term, in local, national and international contexts."
Towards a Statement of Need is an initial step in the identification of the observation suite. It brings together the UK's environmental observation requirements to address fundamental science, policy and societal issues.
In addition to open consultation, detailed information on the requirements to meet a series of headline issues was gathered from 120 experts across 40 organisations in a series of environmental domain based workshops.
The overall requirements have been incorporated into the document Towards a Statement of Need. Detailed information, including the types of measurements required and an initial look at capability, are recorded in the Observation Requirements below.
Development of the Statement of Need and associated observation requirements tables is an iterative and continuing process. Any comments, additional information or updates are therefore welcomed.
The captured requirements have not been prioritised and deliberately include all reasons for taking observations. Prioritisation will be addressed via the Decision Support Framework and current activities are searchable within the UK-EOF Environmental Observation Activity Catalogue.
Over time the statements will capture greater detail and be refined such that the needs may be matched by actual observation.