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What is CIS?
The Coastal Information System (CIS), aims at improving the quality and coverage of coastal data, and integrating them in ways that help to analyze and understand global environmental change and its potential impacts.

When was CIS established?
CIS was established in January 2002 by the Center for Coastal and Atmospheric Research (CCAR) in the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).  They are responsible for the overall programme development and implementation. 

How does CIS operate?
The programme is currently hosted by the CCAR in Hong Kong - SAR, which provides a secretariat and some programme support. A steering committee composed of internationally recognized experts advises on programme priorities and activities and maintains oversight of expert panels and project activities.

What topics does CIS cover?
The CIS topics are associated with the major aspects global environmental change in coastal systems and were identified by a planning group of experts during the formation of CIS. The five areas are: Water  quality, Freshwater resources, Biodiversity, Temperature change, and Pollution and toxicity.

What resources does CIS have to which I may have access?
CIS allows users to access information on sites carrying out coastal research. CIS also has information sheets, some global maps, documents, contact lists, research project initiatives, etc. CIS can help direct users towards sources of terrestrial data and has a small central budget to facilitate activities that may have significant impacts at the regional or global levels.

In what regions is CIS presently working?

Although CIS is a global programme, the data it uses depends largely on national and site-level efforts. At present CIS has completed data collection (between 1997 and 2001) in the Pearl River Estuary. 
What kinds of projects does CIS undertake?
CIS is currently implementing projects on Biodiversity Management in the China South Sea.

Do I have to pay for data and information made available by CIS?
No, there is no cost or need to register for access to CIS data but they may supply information on data holders that charge for data availability.

Can I send information to CIS?
Yes. We would be pleased to receive information that is relevant to a CIS project or if you wish to participate in a project. Please feel free to contact the CIS secretariat.

How do I get updates on recent developments in CIS?
You can register to receive periodic updates on activities in the CIS information note.