In its Communication entitled ‘Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES): we care for a safer planet’ , the Commission announced the establishment of a Partners Board to assist the Commission in the overall coordination of GMES. The Official Journal of the EU of February 8 has published the decision that creates this organ.
GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) will produce Earth observation data collected from space- and ground-based infrastructure. The Space Component features 5 satellite missions, called the Sentinels, which are being developed by ESA (European Space Agency). The In-Situ Component comprises sensors on the ground, floating in the oceans or carried on aircraft. These facilities already exist and are located both inside and outside the EU.
GMES Services will be provided in 5 different domains:
- Land (geo-data on land cover, crop monitoring)
- Marine (oil-spill detection, weather forecasts)
- Atmosphere (air quality, UV exposure)
- Emergency response (rapid maps for humanitarian aid)
- Security (border surveillance).
GMES initiative was launched in June 2009. Now, the OJEU of February 8 includes the publication of the Commission Decision of 5 February 2010 setting up the GMES Partners Board. Its tasks shall be:
- To establish cooperation between Member States bodies and the Commission on questions related to GMES, in order to help ensure coordination of contributions by national and European Union’s activities to GMES, make best use of existing capacities and identify gaps to be addressed at European level.
- To assist the Commission in monitoring the coherent implementation of the European Earth Observation Programme (GMES), which includes funding from the Research Framework Programme and from other EU funding sources.
- To assist the Commission with the preparation of a strategic implementation framework of the European Earth Observation Programme (GMES).
- To bring about an exchange of experience and good practice in the field of GMES and Earth observation.
The Partners Board will be chaired by the Commission and shall consist of 27 members elected by the authorities of each Member State. Their appointment will be for one year renewable.