The French Institute for the Environment (Institut franÃ§ais de l'environnement or IFEN) was established by Decree no. 91-1177 of November 18 1991. It is a public administrative body under the authority of the French Ministry of Environment and constitutes its statistical department (under Ministerial Order of December 22 1993).
IFEN undertakes and coordinates the collection, processing and dissemination of statistics and data on the environment as well as on natural and technological risks.
It helps to define and harmonise methodologies used to gather environmental data for the purpose of general knowledge.
IFEN conducts studies and reports on the state of the environment and trends, the economic and social dimensions of the environment and is devising a system of sustainable development indicators.
IFEN is also the focal point of the European Environment Agency (EEA) based in Copenhagen (Denmark). It is involved in the work undertaken by international organisations (EUROSTAT, OECD and the UN) and in bilateral cooperation programmes.
Working closely with the relevant national and international institutions, particularly EEA, IFEN's task is to produce and disseminate scientific and statistical documents and information in the following areas:
land use and natural resources
land cover and landscapes
the state of fauna, flora, terrestrial and marine ecosystems
protection of coastal and mountain areas and other protected or sensitive areas
water quality and pollutant discharges
air quality and pollutant emissions
the urban environment
the release of chemicals and the resulting impacts on the environment
natural and technological risks
public opinion and behaviour concerning the environment.