A critical review is given of the current status of →terminology and →thesaurus projects in the field of environment on the European and international levels. For this purpose the following dimensions may be distinguished: - technology: telematic-based co-operative applications are being developed, the creation of →terminology databases accessible via the World Wide Web has gained prime importance. New software has been programmed, or existing packages have been adapted to new needs. This also includes translation technology and corpus analysis programmes; - methodology: ongoing projects in the framework of the European Environment Agency show that (traditional) methods of →terminology, nomenclature, classification and →thesaurus development should be further developed and integrated into a comprehensive knowledge organisation methodology. This approach also has to address the problem of thematic (vertical) fragmentation and specialisation, lacking concomitant cross-disciplinary (horizontal) re-integration of →terminological knowledge; - organisational strategy: the thematic fragmentation mentioned above is mirrored on the organisational level - institutions specialising in different aspects of the wide field of environment hardly co-operate and communicate with each other. Co-operative →terminology development requires much more cross-disciplinary discussion, e.g. in order to harmonise conflicting →definitions of the same→concept used in different themes.
The overall process of →terminology development and management requires a balanced and dynamic, interactive relationship among these dimensions. Any technology is useless without the appropriate methodology, the best methodology does not work without the necessary organisational support, the best strategy will remain theoretical without choosing the right methodology and the necessary technology.