The SAARC Expert Group meeting for the proposed establishment of a Information Networking Mechanism to assist member-countries for protection and preservation of the environment was organised by the Ministry of Environment and forests in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs and Tata Energy Research Institute during March 9-10, 1999 in New Delhi.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of various member-countries like Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. A detailed deliberation was made during the 2- day workshop for effective mechanisms for setting up of the proposed Information Networking so that all the member-countries could exchange the necessary information among themselves for necessary action in order to protect and preserve the environment. A framework for the Network was accepted unanimously by all the representatives which included building strong national networks around country nodes encompassing the NGOs, local communities, non-elite class, traditional knowledge base, vernacular languages and mass media. It was also proposed that the Network should be termed as SEINet (SAARC Environment Information Network). SEINet would be developing the database on various local and global environmental issues and would disseminate the information using the latest information technology and by developing a website through Internet.