Jun 07, 2011

SWIFT E-News n°17 - 7th June 2011

Estimated Article Reading Time: 6 min.

In this Issue
1. EC Communication sets out priorities for the future EU space policy
2. Infringement procedures related to river basin plans
3. Council conclusions on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region
4. JRC-IPSC develops a new Tsunami Alerting Device
5. Council conclusions on EU Integrated Flood Management
6. JRC and Kyoto University strengthen cooperation to reduce disasters risk
7. GMES Masters Innovation Competition launched
8. “Forest and biomass management using satellite information and services”
9. Commission’s workshop on tsunami and earthquake risks
10. Agreement to provide information on land cover under GMES
11. The Council adopts conclusions on a space strategy for the EU
GMES Project Corner:
12. MACC Conference: Monitoring and Forecasting Atmospheric Composition
13. Activations of the GMES Emergency Management Service

1. EC Communication Sets out Priorities for the Future EU Space Policy

On 4 April 2011, the European Commission presented a Communication as a first step of an integrated space policy to be developed with the new legal basis provided by the Lisbon Treaty. Indeed, article 189 gives the European Union an explicit role in designing a policy for the exploration and exploitation of space in order “to promote scientific and technical progress, industrial competitiveness and the implementation of its policies”. Furthermore, space policy is a key element of Europe 2020 strategy and an integral part of the industrial policy flagship initiative. It supports the objectives of a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by creating high-skilled jobs, commercial opportunities, boosting innovation and improving citizens’ well-being and security.

Read More…

2. Infringement Procedures Related to River Basin Plans

On 6 April 2011 the European Commission announced that it would take four Member States (Belgium, Denmark, Greece and Portugal) to the EU Court of Justice for failing to comply with EU water legislation and submit their river basin plans. All public consultations should have started in December 2008 and the plans adopted by 22 December 2009 at the latest. These plans are essential for achieving the EU’s objective of “good status” for European waters by 2015; if delayed, they could mean a failure to deliver the water quality required.

Read More…

3. Council Conclusions on the EU Strategy for the Danube Region

At a General Affairs Council meeting on 13 April 2011, the Council endorsed the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region, taking note of the annexed Action Plan that was elaborated by the European Commission on the basis of a consultation with the Member States, third countries and other stakeholders. The Council stressed that the implementation of the strategy should be launched without delay and agreed that a governance structure for its implementation and follow-up is required, therefore encouraging the EU Member States concerned, in particular their National Contact Points and their Priority Area Coordinators, to facilitate the start of the implementation.

Read More…

4. JRC-IPSC Develops a New Tsunami Alerting Device

The Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC), which is one of the seven institutes of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), has developed a new Tsunami Alerting Device (TAD). Its capacity to directly and timely alert people at risk on coastal areas represents a major step forward towards the creation of effective tsunami early warning systems. On 20 April 2011 began the testing of the device in Setubal (Portugal), in collaboration with the local Civil Protection Authorities.

Read More…

5. Council Conclusions on EU Integrated Flood Management

At a Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on 12 May 2011 in Brussels, the Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on Integrated Flood Management within the European Union. Among other measures, the Council calls on Member States to promote the use of available alert systems such as EFAS (European Flood Alert System) and the GMES ERS (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Emergency Response Service) to improve, together with other forecasting models, early warning for the citizens.

Read More…

6. JRC and Kyoto University Strengthen Cooperation to Reduce Disasters Risk

In May 2011 an agreement was signed between the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) – one of the institutes of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) – and the Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI) of Kyoto University. Their objective is to step up co-operation aimed at limiting the impact of natural disasters on the population and on critical infrastructures.

Read More…

7. GMES Masters Innovation Competition Launched

On 18 May 2011 the GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) Masters contract was signed by Jean-Jacques Dordain – Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA)–, Martin Zeil – Bavarian Minister of Economic Affairs– and Thorsten Rudolph– Chief Executive Officer of “Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen” (AZO)–. The GMES Masters innovation competition will encourage European researchers and entrepreneurs to develop market-focused applications from data gathered through the EU-led GMES programme.

Read More…

8. “Forest and Biomass Management Using Satellite Information and Services”

Eurisy (a European Non-profit Association Bridging Space and Society) has recently published a report entitled “Forest and biomass management using satellite information and services”, which is an introduction for local and regional authorities, and forestry professionals. This document is part of Eurisy’s collaboration with the consortium of regional authorities involved in MORE4NRG, an INTERREG IVC project aiming to favour the exchange of good practice and experience on the topic of sustainable energy.

Read More…

9. Commission’s Workshop on Tsunami and Earthquake Risks

On 20 May 2011, the European Commission (Directorate-General for Research and Innovation) held in Brussels a workshop under the theme “Tsunami risks in Europe – Research Achievements and Future Perspectives”. Six innovative EU-funded projects (to the amount of EUR 16.25 million) presented their work in areas such as risk assessment, new early warning systems and rapid response protocols. Other EU initiatives were also represented: GDACS (Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System), coordinated by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission, and the Emergency Management Service, currently in preparation under the European GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) programme. The workshop provided experts with an excellent opportunity to exchange views on the main research findings and to identify areas where more research is needed.

Read More…

10. Agreement to Provide Information on Land Cover Under GMES

On 25 May 2011 and on the occasion of a Green Week event in Brussels, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission signed an agreement to provide detailed information on land cover in Europe, under the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) programme. The EEA will manage a EUR 20 million budget over the period 2011-2013 to coordinate technical implementation of the continental and local GMES land monitoring services.

Read More…

11. The Council Adopts Conclusions on a Space Strategy for the EU

On 31 May 2011, the Competitiveness (internal market, industry, research and space) committee of the Council of the European Union adopted conclusions “Towards a space strategy for the EU that benefits its citizens”. As far as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) is concerned, the Council reaffirms the need for the European Commission to ensure a quick and effective implementation of the programme by 2014, in partnership with the Member States, recalling the role of the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and other organizations, as appropriate, in respect to GMES.

Read More…

GMES Projects’ Corner

12. MACC Conference: Monitoring and Forecasting Atmospheric Composition

The EC-funded project MACC (Monitoring Atmospheric Composition & Climate) is implementing the pre-operational version of the GMES Atmosphere Monitoring Service. An accurate monitoring of the depletion of the ozone layer in March and an improvement of aerosol forecasts are part of the recent achievements of the project.

Read More…

13. Activations of the GMES Emergency Management Service

The GMES Emergency Management Service powered by the EC-funded project SAFER (Services and Applications for Emergency Response) reinforces the European capacity to respond to emergency situations: it provides a reactive cartographic service to the registered users involved in the management of humanitarian crisis, natural disasters and man-made emergency situations with timely and high quality products derived from Space Observation. During the last two months (April-May 2011), this service has been triggered several times due to fires in Bulgaria, Belgium and The Netherlands as well as an earthquake in Spain.

Read More…

(Source GMES.Info)