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CDDA data collection 2014

Released on 2013-12-16 by: Marek Staron

To: Eionet PCPs and NRCs for Nature Protection and Biodiversity

Cc: Eionet National Focal Points

From: Mette Lund and Marek Staron, EEA

Dear Colleague,

Deadline for the CDDA deliveries is 15 March 2014.

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 2014.

Pre-loaded template files

Data packages with pre-loaded template files are uploaded in draft envelopes on the CDR.

As in previous years, also for this data collection the EEA has prepared a data package with pre-loaded template files and additional documents has been prepared for each country. The package contains:

  • CDDA-***-20131202.mdb - Template database pre-loaded with the latest national tabular data in a structure defined by the CDDA Data Dictionary.
  • CDDA_GIS_site_boundaries_v11_***.zip - Latest spatial data of CDDA site boundaries polygons in shapefile format.
  • CDDA_GIS_site_points_v11_***.zip - Latest spatial data of CDDA site points in shapefile format (not for all countries).
  • CDDA national 2013 - Analysis report v1 - ***.pdf - Detailed quality assessment report on the latest tabular data.
  • CDDA_2013_***.kml - A geographic information file with the latest site coordinates provided in the CDDA tabular data. Coordinate marks are color coded based on their position against the country boundaries.
  • CDDA 2012 - ETC-BD analysis report.pdf - Report on the results of the analysis of the latest CDDA boundaries data performed by the ETC.
  • CDDA spatial data - guidance.doc - Short guidance document on key points regarding the preparation and delivery of spatial data for CDDA.
  • CDDA_SiteCode_allocation_UserGuide_v01.pdf - A detailed user guide document on use of the Site code allocation service.

*** is for country code or name

Each of the country data packages is uploaded in a draft envelope on the Reportnet Central Data Repository (CDR), in the respective CDDA collection folder of the country. The envelope has 2014 in its name, but otherwise follows the naming convention that you have used in the previous envelopes. Nominated data reporters and national focal points have access to this envelope.

Data definition changes

Two new fields added to the Sites table:
Major ecosystem type
Marine area percentage

Updated CDDA data definitions are available in the Reportnet Data Dictionary. This year we have added two new fields into the Sites table:

The Major ecosystem type field allows to indicate whether a site is fully terrestrial (incl. freshwater), fully marine or marine and terrestrial (incl. freshwater). The Marine area percentage field needs only to be filled when a site includes both marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Please see more information about Marine sites below.

Update of the CDDA data

Do not use a different or older version of the template database.

The pre-loaded template database should be verified and updated with your new information. The analysis reports, included in the package, provide information on problems and errors we have detected in your previous deliveries. Please try to correct them or provide an explanation if it is not possible.

Do not use a different or older version of the database template because quality checking and aggregation routines will fail. The database provides a possibility to run selected quality checks on the data. We recommend you use it and fix the detected issues before you export the data to XML and upload them on the agreed data repository (see below).

Site codes

Use site code allocation web service to reserve new codes for your sites.

The web service for allocation of site codes for new sites, which we have developed and used first time during the previous data collection, has been updated and ready to use. The service is available at:

We kindly ask you to use this service to reserve new codes for your sites. A detailed user guide is part of the data package, and is also available for download on Data Dictionary documentation page.

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 and use the new marine fields to mark the marine sites designated under your national legislation for the CDDA delivery in 2014. Of particular relevance to EU Member States the CDDA 2014 data collection cycle will be available to the European Commission should they require to take a closer look upon the 2014 data 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, on global as well as European level, 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, incl contact information on the national participants to the MSFD Marine Expert Group, are posted at this address:

Data delivery and Automatic QA

Please export your data to xml files, upload them and check the results of the automatic QA.

Your quality checked data should be uploaded, after consultation with the National Focal Point, either to the Central Data Repository or to your national EIONET server, depending on the choice of your country for delivering EIONET priority data, by the deadline of: 15 March 2014.

You can upload back to the draft envelope created by EEA or if this has been completed you can create a new envelope.

The delivery should consist of the following parts:

  • Microsoft Access database - updated template database. Please use only the original .mdb format, don't change it to the newer .accdb
  • XML files - these files should be created by you by using 'Generate XML files' function in the database template. XML files are needed for Automatic QA service to provide you with an immediate feedback on the quality of your delivery.
  • GIS boundaries data - updated .shp files with sites boundaries polygons. Boundaries of designations not creating sites should be also present if possible.
  • 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.

The update of automatic quality assurance (QA) procedures for the CDDA data will be done by the end of January or early Fenruary. We therefore kindly ask you, if you manage to finalize update of your CDDA data earlier, please, postpone your deliveries to later dates in February or to March.

Once updated, the automatic QA will check the following data quality indicators:

  • availability of mandatory fields
  • duplicities in primary key fields
  • correctness of data types of provided values
  • correctness of used codes where codelists are defined, including the correct use of site codes
  • position of sites coordinates against the country boundary boxes

The automatic QA service requires that you upload your data in xml format. You get them by using the 'Generate XML files' function in your template. It will create one file per table. Please zip the files and upload them to the CDR together with the MS Access database. The zip archive will be automatically unzipped.

Once you are done, you will notice that a 'Run QA #1' button appears with each of the xml files in addition to the 'Run Full QA' and 'Run relation QA' buttons. We recommend that you use these in order to check the quality of your data. The full QA is automatically executed when you release the envelope and results are then stored in the Feedback section of the CDR envelope. If any problems are detected, please try to fix them and redeliver your data before you close the envelope. The more problems you can fix before you release the data, the faster your deliveries can be processed.

A further level of data quality checks will be carried out by ETC data managers and EEA, as usual.

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 2014 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


  • In case of login problems or any other technical difficulties with Eionet web services, please contact Eionet Helpdesk
  • In case of questions related to the content of the data requested, please contact the European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity (ETC/BD). Please note that during 2014 the CDDA helpdesk is gradually handed over to GeoVille, ETC/BD consortium partner.

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. 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