To promote industrial R&D activities in Europe in support of humanitarian demining operations worldwide. The aim is to bring advanced equipment to the field in 2-4 years to improve speed, cost and safety of demining operations. Detailed objectives are spelled out in the 1998
on Humanitarian Demining R&D.
Three ESPRIT R&D projects started in early 1998, with six more starting in early 1999. These projects aim at researching, developing and testing new systems for detecting anti-personnel landmines.
of the R&D activities.
The R&D projects are supported by a set of activities carried out in common. These include testing and evaluation, surveys, data collection.
of support activities.
Events organised by the European Commission
The European Commission regularly organises expert meetings, consultations and conferences on the topic of humanitarian demining.
List of recent events.
United Nations' estimates
, landmines kill some 20 000 civilians every year. The
on the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-personnel landmines comes into force on 1 March 1999. It sets the goal to clear the ratifying countries of landmines within 10 years. However, current clearance techniques are slow and very costly. Various studies identified the need for further R&D to develop and test improved methods for mine detection and identification.
In parallel to this activity, the Commission is financing mine-clearance operations in various parts of the world, and this has confirmed that more efficient techniques, systems and practice are required.