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Copernicus for environmental law enforcement support

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EnviroLENS (Copernicus for environmental law enforcement support)

Reporting period: 2018-12-01 to 2021-05-31

enviroLENS bridges the gap for the utilization of the European Satellite capacities provided by Copernicus for environmental law enforcement and related cross-cutting sectors.
The project results are responding to the demands of the jurisdictional sector for ready-to-access evidence and scenario information on environmental situations.

The main aim of the project was to deliver Earth observation-based services providing evidences on environmental incidences and legal violations in order to support the evidence data gathering process and to foster data-driven decision-making.
Three different innovation pathways were followed during the project:
1) Technological innovations: EO and semantic data mining technologies are merged to provide a joint environmental legislation discovery system.
2) Conceptual innovations: The eLENS Portal will deliver a cross-domain solution, embracing Earth Observation-based services and transforming them by enrichment with new legal added-value innovations.
3) Commercial innovations: The enviroLENS open value chain strategy allows anybody to contribute and receive a multitude of benefits in return.

Conclusion of the Project
With the eLENS portal we developed a easy to use and user friendly tool, which also can be used to refine the user needs of enviroLENS in the future and to demonstrate the possibilities of EO Data for Non Experts also for other Use Cases.
The system architecture of the portal allows to adjust or expand the functionalities very fast with little effort.
eLENS has had and will have a tremendous impact on the legal domain as it will trigger new types of lawyer services (increasing their competitiveness), will enable new type of evidence collection (reducing costs and time efforts), will serve as blue-print for additional front-office services.
The first phase of the project was focusing on the definition of the user requirements, the development and design of the demonstration use cases, and the development of the prototype services. The second phase of the project focused on the development of the eLENS Portal, to demonstrate the potential and usability of such services which combines the Earth Observation technology from EO Modelling, EO Toolset and the Semantic data mining technology.
This Portal is currently in TRL 6-7 State and open available through https://portal.envirolens.eu/ and was used for developing Showcases and the results were disseminated.

Following Services were developed and are provided through the portal:

Legislation Discovery Tool which gives the opportunity to search for relevant legislation based on geospatial parameters.

-Exploration Tool With the user can get a quick overview of a situation by directly comparing EO data of two different time stamps in a user-friendly environment.

-Monitoring and Alert Tool which gives the opportunity to monitor user defined areas for critical changes in the landscape

The input and feedback for developing the portal delivered important feedback for the update of the Business Exploitation Plan.

The enviroLENS results and activities have been actively communicated to external stakeholders via offline and online tools . The enviroLENS project has been promoted via own channels including Facebook, Twitter, a newsletter and a dedicated website. When it comes to more traditional activities, the project partners have attended a number of events and conferences. A number of promotional items were conceptualized, produced and displayed and/or disseminated. Finally, the dissemination activities included mobilizing consortium partners and their communication channels.
The overall impact of the project has remained true to its origins. A short description of the individual achieved impacts, deviations and lessons learnt are provided in the bullet points below:

• Risk-based enforcement strategies: supervision of large areas has been proved as one of the main opportunities for direct uptake of EO data by enforcement bodies.
• Cost Optimization: It has been proved that EO data, within and outside of this project, is orders of magnitude cheaper than traditional “on-site” inspections. This has been confirmed by project stakeholders and identified as one of the biggest advantages of EO.
• Participation of civil society: even though eLENS portal has been designed to promote the participation of civil society, by implementing tools such as the automated monitoring and alert tools, this impact has not been yet achieved as a widely open access to the portal has not yet been offered to the public. The project has reached a level of maturity of TRL-7 (pre-operational level in controlled tested environment), and therefore only tested by the stakeholders, their end-users, and a selected number of external users. In the future developments expected for the operationalization phase, we plan to open the portal to citizens once reached a TRL-8
• Development of a new market: eLENS has opened a brand-new market for the use of EO in the law domain. Very few countries have accepted EO based evidence in court, therefore the potential for a wide-sectorial uptake is immense.
• Boosting Research & Innovation: In terms of the impact for the consortium partners great benefits in terms of technology roadmap development for GeoVille, Synergise and JSI, as well as innovation in the internal processes brought by eLENS for the stakeholders UICN and DLA Piper
• Education and Awareness: during the project execution, a series of workshops, webinars, demonstrations, etc. have been delivered both to the end-users and to a wider audience. Showcases have been generated and disseminated and it is expected that the educational material will grow in the next phases of the project.
• Health and Quality of life: eLENS goal is to increase the efficiency of environmental law processes with the ultimate objective to improve the health of the planet by preserving it and, indirectly improve the health and quality of life of its citizens.
• Legal domain: eLENS has had and will have a tremendous impact on the legal domain as it will trigger new types of lawyer services (increasing their competitiveness), will enable new type of evidence collection (reducing costs and time efforts), will serve as blue-print for additional front-office services.
EO for environmental legal envorcement