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CDDA data collection 2013

Released on 2012-12-14 by: Marek Staron

To: Eionet PCPs and NRCs for Nature Protection and Biodiversity

Cc: Eionet National Focal Points

From: Marek Staron, EEA, on behalf of Rania Spyropoulou

Dear Colleague,

Deadline for the CDDA deliveries is 15 March 2013.

We are writing to inform you of the detailed plans for the CDDA annual data collection that is, as you know, one of the agreed EIONET Priority 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 2013.

Pre-loaded template files

Pre-loaded template files will be provided in January.

As in previous years, also for this data collection the EEA will prepare a pre-loaded template databases and site boundary files with the most recent CDDA data. These will be provided in January, together with results of country specific quality assessments and supporting documents and guidelines. We will inform you when it is ready in another letter, together with additional instructions, specifically on data delivery process and automatic QA (edit 2013/01/22: see the letter here).

In the meantime we propose you get familiar and prepare for changes in the data definitions and key issues common in the deliveries.

Data definition changes

The EEA develops a site code distribution web page where you will be able to directly allocate free site codes for your new sites.

Updated CDDA data definitions are available in the Reportnet Data Dictionary. This year the technical specification has been changed in two ways.

A minor detail is reduction of the number of options for dissemination of your data by the EEA:

  • 01 - Yes, public dissemination by EEA allowed
  • 02 - No dissemination, except to UNEP-WCMC and other partners for internal use
  • 03 - No dissemination, only for EEA internal use

A placeholder code 00 will be used in the pre-loaded template databases for the old dissemination codes that can’t be easily converted to any of the 3 codes above. Please change it to appropriate code when updating the CDDA data. All remaining 00 codes in your deliveries will be detected as errors by the automatic QA and will be changed to 01 by the ETC-BD when the deliveries are processed.

The second change concerns the way you will receive the site codes for new sites or for sites that have not previously been reported to CDDA. The EEA currently develops a site code distribution web page where you alone will be able to directly allocate free site codes for your new sites without a need to contact ETC-BD or EEA. This change of the allocation process will improve its flexibility and reduce a risk of possible errors. The web page is planned to be ready by mid-January, therefore we ask you to postpone all new site code related activities until it’s finished. We inform you about it in the second letter (edit 2013/01/22: see the letter here).

Key issues

It is vital that all spatial features are given correct SITE_CODEs.

You are asked once again to concentrate resources on improving the quality of digital boundary information for your sites. It is vital that all spatial features (site polygons) are given correct SITE_CODEs, which allows them to be properly linked with the site records in the tabular database. You should provide information as requested on the size, the coordinates (latitude and longitude) and the IUCN category.

EEA will calculate the coordinates of sites for which correct site boundaries have been delivered. Countries should indicate in the appropriate database field if they want this to be done. These coordinates will satisfy the coordinate requirements criteria for the Eionet progress report. The calculated coordinates will be made available in the sites table of the next version of the European data set.

Marine sites

Ensure that your marine sites are reported.

Please make an extra effort to collect the marine sites designated under your national legislation for the CDDA delivery in 2013. The CDDA 2013 data collection cycle will provide most of the information to be used in the assessments for the 2015 State of the Environment report and for the preparation of the article 21 report under the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).

Given the rising focus on the protection of the marine environment, it is important to have data (in particular the site boundaries) to show what countries have already put in place. There is no requirement to redeliver marine sites already provided under international agreements, e.g. the Regional Sea Conventions, or the Natura 2000 and Emerald networks. Relevant guidance notes are posted at this address:

Evaluation and scoring criteria


EEA has reported to EEA Management Board on country responses to the CDDA National data collection since 1999 (see archive of EIONET Progress reports). The purpose of the priority data flows report is to show progress against agreed, stable, well-defined objectives in order to allow countries to focus their resources on putting regular reporting procedures in place.

The evaluation criteria for the 2012 data collection are unchanged. We hope that the support for coordinate calculation and quality checking provided by EEA this year will continue to help all countries towards high scores.

Helpdesk and support


If the people working directly on the CDDA data delivery in your country are not PCPs or NRCs, 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, which was particularly valuable for the EEA report "Protected areas in Europe - an overview" published this year. We look forward to another successful annual data flow.

Mette Lund EEA Project officer - Biodiversity information
Marek Staron EEA Project Officer - Data operator
European Environment Agency