Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


GEOLAND — Result In Brief

Project ID: 502871
Funded under: FP6-AEROSPACE
Country: Germany

Mapping the future of biodiversity

Climate change and the expansion of human habitation have put pressure on biodiversity. There is a growing consensus that the only way to counter this threat is to adopt effective adaptation strategies and provide decision-makers with accurate information through the careful monitoring of our natural environment.
Mapping the future of biodiversity
EU environmental monitoring services have been defined, developed and implemented through the 'Global monitoring for environment and security' (GMES) initiative. The focus of GMES has been to provide harmonised geo-information at both local and international levels in a time- and cost-effective manner.

A good example of a GMES project is Geoland, which was completed in 2007 and aimed to build on previous work by developing and demonstrating a range of reliable, affordable and cost-efficient European geo-information services. The purpose of these services would be to support the implementation of European directives and their national implementation, as well as European and international policies.

Some 56 Geoland partners developed products and services that utilised available earth observation (EO) resources in combination with in-situ measurements. It was envisaged that these geo-information services would support authorities and institutions in fulfilling their expanding monitoring and reporting obligations, and help them to better manage natural resources.

The project was conceptually divided into regional and global services. Regional services, which focused on the implementation of newly established European directives, were structured into three observatories.

A nature protection observatory addressed the Habitats and Bird Directive, the Ramsar Convention and the Convention on Biological Diversity. A water and soil observatory was geared towards the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection and the Water Framework Directive. Finally, a spatial planning observatory tackled the European spatial development perspective. A core service supported the observatories with cross-cutting products.

All these activities took into account the need to implement the 6th Environmental Action Programme and the Sustainable Development Strategy. As two leading initiatives in Europe today, these programmes have been geared by all major stakeholders to steer long-term sustainable change in all types of environment - from marine to air.

Global services focused on supporting policies concerning global change and sustainable development. These projects were again structured into three observatories. Two observatories - one for natural carbon flux and the other for forest change supplied information in line with recent UN forums on climate change and forests respectively. A food security and crop monitoring observatory addressed Food Aid Policy issues. Again, a core service supported the observatories with cross-cutting products.

The project succeeded in developing EO-derived information such as maps, statistics, indicators, typologies and scenarios that allow for systematic and geo-spatially explicit territorial analysis. This provides the European Commission, Member States and regions significant information and tools, and will enable decision-makers to efficiently implement and assess actions that protect our precious biodiversity.

Related information

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top