About the portal


On 8 August last, the world's ecological footprint surpassed the planet's regeneration capacity for the year 2016. This has been occurring increasingly earlier in the year since the mid-1970s and is exacerbated by the continued depletion of natural resource stocks and the accumulation of waste and toxic products in the ecosystems.

Public awareness that is capable of triggering the necessary and urgent political, economic and social transformations to reverse this situation cannot happen without proper and strict monitoring of the state of the environment. This hinges on the evolution of the knowledge base that is indispensable for designing and implementing resilient public policies – and concrete citizen actions – that are effective in addressing the complex environmental challenges we face.

The importance given in Portugal to the availability of up-to-date environmental information has been taken into account since the first Framework Law on the Environment, of 1987, which implemented the annual publication of a report on the state of the environment. Like most of its international counterparts, this report has constituted an important tool for communicating the factual state of the environment at a national level, supported by the analysis of a set of indicators.

More recently, REA has evolved towards a format of environmental information communication that is best suited to the digital society. In this regard, it was necessary to create an online digital platform, a portal, capable of hosting all the synthetic and statistical-based environmental information, in which the updating of environmental indicators is only subject to the provision of new data by the competent entities, and that, making use of the Internet's dynamic and interactive capabilities, provides precision, simplicity and speed in the access to information.

In order to achieve this goal, APA is launching the STATE OF THE ENVIRONMENT PORTAL, which goes far beyond the State of the Environment Report. It is a platform that includes information and analysis for a wide range of users and that, hopefully, will become a reference for consulting the main environmental indicators and trends in our country.

Therefore, this platform hosts a diverse number of indicators on the state of the environment, organised into 49 fact sheets, distributed across eight environmental domains: Economy and Environment, Energy and Climate, Transport, Air, Water, Soil and Biodiversity, Waste and Environmental Risks.

Naturally, the creation of this portal does not entail an end to the publication of the State of the Environment Report. The report will continue to be submitted to Parliament, in accordance with the Framework Law on the Environment of 2014.

However, in addition to fact sheets organised by environmental domains, the portal will offer the public other relevant content, allowing for a better understanding of the complexity of the pressures to which the environment is subject. Thus, in addition to other international portals and reports on the state of the environment, it will provide access to other publications on environmental fields, as well as studies analysing the impact of global trends on the state of the environment. Naturally, it will also include all editions of REA in electronic format.

Last but not least, we would like to mention the careful and dedicated collaboration of various entities in the creation of this portal. This is, therefore, a true collaborative project, built on the commitment of people who, in representation of the various organisations involved, collaborated with APA as the coordinator of REA. This project is also made possible by the yearly involvement of APA's own staff. Our recognition and gratitude goes out to all.


The Board of Directors of the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA)

December 29th, 2016