GAF Awarded Stage 2 of GMES Service Element for Forest Monitoring

In October 2005 the European Space Agency (ESA) awarded GAF the
Project Management role for Stage 2 of the GMES Service Element on
Forest Monitoring (GSE FM). GAF successfully managed the first stage of
the GSE FM, which was implemented between February 2003 and September
2004 and had the main aim of consolidating forest monitoring services
in policy areas relevant to climate change issues, sustainable forest
management and forest-based environmental indicators. GAF and the
entire GSE FM consortium were delighted with the news of the Stage 2
award, which combines baseline and extension programmes so that a full
complement of service cases can be developed and offered in the next 3
years. The award is viewed as a demonstration of the confidence in the
achievements of Stage 1 as well as the quality of the proposal.
Stage 2 will implement fully operational
systems for an expanded user community within an accompanying expanded
geographical service area in a sustainable manner. This will be done
via promotion/marketing of the services to attract and incorporate new
users and their requirements; the management of a Service Network which
will provide an open service network to include all new users, service
providers and other stakeholders as well as developing common data
access conditions, and ensure maintenance of quality validation
processes; and finally the evolution of the Service Portfolio will be
based on the incorporation of new and valid research results into the
production chains.
GSE FM Services Available
The key policies that the GSE FM addresses
are the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
and Kyoto Protocol (KP), the UN Convention on Biological Diversity
(UNCBD), the Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in
Europe (MCPFE) and related Criteria & Indicator processes, the
United Nations Forum on Forests and National Forest Programmes. A
strong interest was expressed by the European Environmental Agency
(EEA) to obtain GSE FM services for its policy-supporting activities
which form the basis for the Pan European service case in Stage 2.
There will also be a continued emphasis on service delivery for the
Kyoto Protocol as this came into legal force in February 2005, thus
increasing demand for the services.
The GSE FM services are based on products
that range from highly accurate annual carbon balance estimates and the
compilation of forest disturbance data to information products for
practical forest and land use management operations, such as:
– land use/cover and land use/cover change maps; 
– forest cover and forest cover change maps; 
– stand-type maps that support sub-national forest Geographic Information Systems (GIS); 

stem volumes, biomass and carbon statistics and corresponding change
data, as well as user-customised versions and/or combinations of the
User Community??s Support for GSE FM
The consortium partners have indicated the
effectiveness of the GSE FM service delivery thus far which include
factors such as the user community??s inclusion of the services/products
into their working practices, the political support from senior-level
decision-makers on the importance of the GSE FM services to policy
implementation both in EU countries and internationally and finally the
cost-effectiveness for the user community in adopting the GSE FM
services. A high level of confidence exists within the consortium that
the GSE FM will be implemented successfully in the next 3 years.
About GAF AG
is an internationally renowned geo-information company, with leading
competence and experience in the application of earth observation
techniques and the development of dedicated software and information
system solutions of uncompromising quality. GAF AG offers a broad
spectrum of user services, ranging from procurement of geodata (e.g.
satellite and aerial data, DEM, land use and land cover data), value
adding processing, information processing and software development to
the provision of turn-key technical assistance projects and customized
spatial land management and monitoring systems. These products and
services are based on state-of-the-art technology and know-how. GAF
AG¨?s activities are managed by Dr. Rupert Haydn.
To obtain more information, please contact:
Dr. Thomas H?ƒ?usler
Tel. +49 (0) 89 12 15 28 0
(Credits GAF AG
Author: EARSC

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