Legal framework for the dissemination of data
The management, and more particularly the dissemination, of marine data is governed by several international conventions and European directives, which aim to ensure broad access to environmental observation data, but which also specify some restrictions (protection of the economic resources of countries, protection of sensitive sites, protection of individual data).
In the marine domain, the main texts are:
- at internationallevel:
- The International Convention on the Law of the Sea , which defines maritime areas (exclusive economic zone, continental shelf, high seas,…, for example) and the rights and duties of States in these areas: navigation, exploitation of economic resources, protection of the marine environment;
- The Aarhus Convention, approved subsequently on 17 February 2005 by the European Community in the form of directive 2003/4/CE;
- at Europeanlevel:
- The European Directive INSPIRE (2007/2/EC) dated 14 March 2007, which aims to establish a geographical information infrastructure within the European Community to promote the protection of the environment;
- The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) of 17 June 2008, which establishes a framework for community action in the political domain for the marine environment;
- The Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) which establishes a framework for an overall community policy in the domain of water (transitional waters and coastal waters for the marine domain);
- in France, by the ratification of the above texts and also by article 7 of the 2004 Environmental Charter (constitutional law n° 2005-205 dated 1st March 2005), which gives a constitutional right of access to information relative to the environment held by the public authorities.