CDDA data collection 2020

Released on 2019-12-18 by: Mette Lund
To: EIONET PCPs and NRCs for Biodiversity
Cc: Eionet National Focal Points
From: Mette Lund and Marek Staron, EEA

Dear Colleague,

We are writing to inform you of the detailed plans for the CDDA annual data collection that is, as you will know, one of the agreed EIONET core data flows. We hope that this letter will be useful as you organise a programme of work with your network in order to validate the existing data published by EEA and to provide any new information available by the deadline for deliveries 15 March 2020.

The CDDA reference page

Please visit the CDDA reference page and familiarise yourself with the Reporting guidelines and other material.

Data collection coordination with the WDPA for the evaluation of the Aichi Biodiversity Target 11

The final European database will as usual be delivered by the EEA to the global level, the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA), if you allow the EEA to do so. In 2020 this is even more important to keep in mind as we are coordinating deadlines with UNEP-WCMC and their strict timeline for the production of the global report and statistics. The WDPA provides the official figures on global progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Target 11, and this progress will be showcased at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of the Parties (CoP) in October 2020 in China.

Designation types update

The Designation types reporting webform is available for your updates at any time. The webform is simple to use, you can add your changes directly on the screen. Instructions and background information on designation types reporting is available from the Designation type reference page.

The Designation type code list includes designation types as reported by your country by 2017 unless you updated the information via the webform already. The code list is used in the automatic QC of your CDDA delivery (field: national designation type). Please ensure that your country’s designation types are up to date before submitting your CDDA 2020 delivery. Please note, that the update of the designation types registry is currently not automated. It may take a certain time for the new delivery to be processed and implemented.

The designation types table reported by countries is available from the CDDA dataset download page and will soon be available in an online version as well.

Regional statistics for marine sites

A report from ETC/ICM documents that within the regions and sub-regions referred to in the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Aichi Biodiversity target 11 goal of minimum 10 % coverage of marine protected areas was reached in 2016. This conclusion was possible as you in recent years made an effort to report marine nationally designated areas via the CDDA. Based on the CDDA data it was possible to prepare a marine protected areas briefing with easily accessible statistics and illustrations available here.

This information will feed into evaluation of EU Biodiversity strategy to 2020 as well as to provide a baseline for any up-coming Biodiversity Strategy for the post 2020. Focus for future analysis will be to prepare EU statistics as well as regional overviews for each of the regional seas including statistics from all Eionet. In order to do so, Eionet is kindly requested to keep responding to the CDDA data call with attention to marine designations.


The geographical area of the so-called "other effective area-based conservation measures", OECMs, are included when the Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 is evaluated in 2020. OECMs do not meet the IUCN definition of a protected area but have their own definition adopted in CBD CoP 2018. Please consider if some of the sites reported by your country are actually OECMs rather than protected areas. Potential candidate sites that may meet the OECM definition can be reported using a category B designation type. You may also consider if some areas not previously reported to CDDA, do provide benefits for biodiversity according to the definition and should be included as OECMs.

OECMs was the topic of a recent Eionet NRC Biodiversity webinar. The comprehensive material from the webinar is available here.

Key issues

The cddaId codes

The site code cddaId is the thematic identifier for the CDDA dataset. It is vital that you give all Type 2 records correct cddaIds. The cddaId is identical to the WDPA ID used as the unique identifier by the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA).

The web service for allocation of cddaId for new sites is available at:

The service has been updated with the information from the last year reporting cycle. We kindly ask you to use this service to reserve new codes for your sites. A detailed user guide is available for download at the site code allocation web service page. Please note that the layout of the web page has been changed, compared to the user guide, but the functionality of the page remains the same.

The localId and PSlocalId codes

All Type 1 features and their corresponding Type 2 records must be assigned correct and identical localId and PSlocalId. The localId and PSlocalId are the principal linking elements, which allows Type 1 and Type 2 data to be properly joined. A screen cast available in the CDDA reference page demonstrates some of the issues you may consider.

Calculating majorEcosystemType

If a spatial analysis is used by your country to determine the major ecosystem type of sites, we recommend that you introduce a threshold to reduce the number of marineAndTerrestrial artifact sites. A spatial analysis, using a coastline likely digitised at a different scale than the designated areas, will introduce false marineAndTerrestrial sites.

We recommended considering sites with less than 1% terrestrial ecosystem as fully marine sites and sites with less than 1% marine ecosystem as fully terrestrial. If your country has a complicated coastline, you may consider to investigate manually all sites below a 5% threshold to determine the appropriate major ecosystem type

CRS encoding in GML

If your country directly delivers the GML file to CDR, please ensure that the CRS encoding is using 'http' quotation. The correct CRS encoding is: '' or ''.

Data delivery and automatic QC

When preparing the data delivery, please revise the QC reports available in your 2019 country CDDA collection folder on CDR. In addition to the automatically generated reports and the feedback posted along with the technical acceptance of your data delivery, you will find there also a comprehensive quality report prepared by the ETC/BD. Please update and correct, if necessary, your data to the extent possible for the 2020 delivery.

Your quality checked data should be uploaded, after consultation with the National Focal Point, to the Central Data Repository, by the deadline of: 15 March 2020.

Please create a new envelope for the 2020 reporting in the CDR CDDA collection of your country and upload the data.

The delivery should consist of the following parts:

  • Type 1 spatial data (GML format)
  • Type 2 data (XLS or XML format) includes two sections
    • DesignatedArea - includes records with thematic information of each nationally designated area
    • LinkedDataset - includes information about the provided Type 1 datasets and where applicable, also additional information about INSPIRE download services that provide those same spatial datasets.
  • Additional information - any supporting or clarifying information that you think is necessary in order to explain your delivery. Use any format you think will serve the purpose.

You must submit the Type 1 data files as valid GML files. If your country does not have the Type 1 data files available as INSPIRE Protected Sites, you may use your shape files from 2019 reporting as a template, update them, and then convert them to GML files using the conversion tool. Do not upload the shape files to CDR but keep a copy for your own use in the next reporting.

The Type 2 data files are reported as Excel files. The Excel data files are automatically converted to XML files upon upload to CDR.

Alternatively, the Type 2 data files may be uploaded to CDR directly as XML files, valid according to the XML schema available in Data Dictionary at A screen cast available in the CDDA reference page demonstrates some issues to consider when creating the XML file.

Partial deliveries to the CDR envelope are not accepted, i.e. it will not be possible to release the envelope if files are missing. All Type 1 and Type 2 data must be present in the envelope.

Please do not upload nested zip files. Nested zip files will not be properly processed.

You can split data into multiple files, but each Type 2 file must contain both DesignatedArea data and the respective LinkedDataset data.

If you split a delivery into multiple files, you must upload all files into the same envelope.

Only the most recently released envelope will be processed (when it is also “technically accepted” in the Final feedback stage, see below). Data delivered in older envelopes will not enter the European dataset.

After you upload your data, you must test them by using the ‘Run automatic QA’ function of the CDR envelope. The full list of tests is available in the CDDA reference page. You must use the ‘Run automatic QA’ function at least once before you try the ‘Release the envelope’ function.

You may test the upload of smaller samples of your data in the CDRSandbox. The CDRSandbox is a training and testing environment similar to the real CDR. In CDRSandbox, users can test the delivery process, quality control checks and workflow associated with the different reporting obligations. CDRSandbox can also be used for training of new reporters or during the preparation of data deliveries. More instructions about the use of CDRSandbox is found at the CDDA reference page.

The results of the QC tests will be stored in the Feedback section of the envelope. Please check the QC tests and correct your data if necessary. If the dataset is unfit for release (it contains “blockers”), it will be indicated in the QC feedback. If you try to release an envelope that contains data files with blockers, it will fail and the envelope will return to Draft status.

Other types of issues identified by the QC tests (“errors”, “warnings”) will not prevent the envelope’s release, but you should revise the issues anyway. See also the Scoring section below.

When successfully released, the envelope enters the Final feedback stage and the envelope will be locked. In this step, the Data Processor (ETC/BD) will perform additional checks and decide whether the envelope can be "technically accepted" or they will ask for a correction and redelivery from you ("correction requested").

Only technically accepted envelopes will be harvested and processed into the European dataset. If Data Processor asks for a correction of your delivery, the detailed reasons will be provided in the envelope as a manual feedback and you will be notified about it.

When a delivery is technically accepted, the envelope will be closed. When correction is requested for a delivery, the envelope will also be closed. Any new delivery, including redelivery of corrected data, will require that you create a new envelope.

Scoring criteria


The scoring of the reporting will follow the Eionet core data flows evaluation criteria for the Timeliness parameter:

  • Timely delivery 15 March (the deadline)
  • Small delay 15 April (+30 days)
  • Serious delay 16 April (and thereafter)

For the Data Quality parameter, in 2020, the scoring will be the following:

  • Basic test failed: Generation of "blocker" messages during the CDR QC test.
  • Basic test passed: Only "error", "warning" or "ok" messages have been generated.
  • All tests passed: Only "warning" or "ok" messages have been generated.

New reporting mechanism and new data model introduced 2018

In case your country did not report in 2018 or 2019, please consult the data call page from 2018. The reporting mechanism and data model changed and you will have to follow the instructions given there.

Helpdesk and support

  • In the case of login problems or any other technical difficulties with Eionet web services, please contact Eionet Helpdesk
  • In the case of questions related to the content of the data requested, please contact CDDA helpdesk. This support is provided by ETC/BD staff.

If the people working directly on the CDDA data delivery in your country are not PCPs, NRCs or nominated CDDA data reporters, please copy this letter to them so that they are aware of the wider context of their work at the European level.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. We look forward to another successful annual data flow.

Mette Lund - Biodiversity data and information systems
Marek Staron - Technical support for water and biodiversity data flows
European Environment Agency