Global Monitoring for Environment and Security: First concrete steps

On the 10th of November, the European Commission adopted a new
Communication on Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES):
From concept to reality. This Communication that will be on the agenda
of the next European Space Council, plans to introduce the first three
earth observation services: emergency management, land monitoring and
marine services. After GALILEO, the Global Monitoring for Environment
and Security (GMES) has become the second EU flagship in space policy.
Natural and manmade catastrophes in Europe, America, Asia and Africa,
coupled with increased security needs, have further reinforced the case
for improved monitoring systems. GMES gathers relevant earth
observation data, for example concerning environmental pollution,
floods, forest fires or earthquakes, and supplies them in reliable and
user-friendly services in support of public policy makers?? needs. In
short: GMES ensures that crisis situations can be better anticipated
and managed.
GMES is an EU-led initiative, in which the
Commission will manage related actions for identifying and developing
services and the European Space Agency (ESA) will manage the
implementation of the space segment.
Europe needs to have available a capacity
which allows it independently to evaluate its policy responses. A
comprehensive Earth observing system using space borne and in-situ
techniques (land, air and sea) through well defined operational
services, is key to ensuring sustainable and high quality environmental
and security monitoring.
Start with emergency management, land
monitoring and marine services GMES will be developed in steps starting
with three fast track services (land, marine, emergency) by the end of
1. The Emergency Management service
aims to reinforce the European capacity to predict and respond to
crises and emergencies associated with natural and man-made disasters
such as:
meteorological-driven hazards, e.g. storms, fires, floods;
geophysical hazards, e.g. earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides
technological disasters, whether deliberate or accidental, e.g. urban fires, chemical accidents on industrial sites
humanitarian disasters generated by sudden natural, technological and weather driven disasters.
The Land Monitoring service will deliver timely, important information
on land use and land cover changes for a number of identified areas at
European, national and local scale. In the short to medium term the
proposed service will focus on mapping of land cover and land use for
spatial development perspective
urban environment strategy
implementation, review and monitoring of EU policies.
The proposed Marine Services will provide data, information products
and indicators on the marine environment. The objective is to provide
general information, structured at the European level, on the condition
of the seas, including:
their monitoring;
indicators for global and regional mapping of ocean climate and variability
operational ocean analyses and forecasts (e.g. ocean current, temperature, salinity fields);
operation, validation and maintenance of in situ observing networks.
GMES at the service of the EU GMES will
substantially increase the ability of geospatial information to support
a variety of EU policies:
monitoring global climate change and the environmental commitments made within the EU and globally to control its causes;
the security of European citizens at Union level, through for example
border surveillance, civil protection, and internal security;
* Common Foreign and Security Policy, including
European Security and Defence Policy, development aid and humanitarian
assistance, and
agriculture, regional development, fisheries, transport.
Some concrete examples include:
in agriculture: the area acreage checks and agri-environmental measures,
in fisheries: the Vessel Monitoring and Vessel Detection systems,
in external relations: the Rapid Reaction mechanism,
in environment: natural hazards (eg forest fires, floods, tsunami response) and global climate change monitoring,
in development: policy water, vegetation and food security monitoring activities.
(Credits Europa
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