Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Specific challenge: Maximum benefit should be made of the investments made in Earth Observation data and information when developing terrestrial and marine ecosystem models and sustainable ecosystem services, in order to deliver major benefits to citizens, businesses and governments. To achieve this, there is a need to develop innovative solutions that will provide open and unrestricted access to interoperable ecosystem Earth Observation data and information. This demanding task is rendered more difficult by the still fragmented and limited ability to collect, store, integrate, analyse and share the required Earth Observations. Overcoming this challenge will contribute to assessing the status of our planet's biodiversity and developing sustainable ecosystem services and natural capital. 

Scope: Proposals should focus on recovering existing data, supporting new measurements and observations, synthesis and interpretation of data for making all information and knowledge available to scientists, policy makers, citizens and other concerned stakeholders to provide a full picture of the state and temporal evolution of ecosystems in existing internationally recognised protected areas. The scope of the action should include enhancing participation of all players in social and political decisions regarding the protection and management of key ecosystems and the definition of future protected areas. They should undertake pilot actions in selected protected areas to further develop the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and foster a knowledge base regarding ecosystem observations for the Copernicus (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) initiative.

Proposals should, as far as possible, include the participation of pan European organisations with a remit in the domain of Earth Observation in order to facilitate access to the necessary data for projects. Proposals should include coordination to avoid duplication with the ESA Climate Change Initiative, as well as measures to find synergies.  

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 8 and 15 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact: By 2015 strong European support and leadership within the GEO Ecosystem tasks. Documented monitoring methodology to define ecological status of future protected areas. Significant contribution to the research requirement for the Copernicus operational services. By the end of the project: new prototype products and ecosystem services, based on improved access to (notably via GEOSS) and long-term storage of ecosystem Earth Observation data and information in existing protected areas, tested, evidence-based environmental policy making and administrative efficiency, and contribution to transparency in public administration and the provision of better public services concerning natural resources management. Improved evidence-based environmental policy making and political decisions.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions

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