The new Kopernikus logo
The JRC and Kopernikus. Observing our planet for a safer world
The European Commission’s earth observation activities, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) have been re-launched today by European Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen under the name of Kopernikus. The name change was officially announced at a dedicated conference in Lille organised in conjunction with the current French presidency of the EU.
Kopernikus's objective is to monitor the state of the environment – on land, at sea and in the atmosphere – in order to assure the security of citizens in a world in which we are increasingly faced with both natural and man-made risks. The system uses satellites and other sensors to monitor our natural environment while keeping an eye on human security.
The information provided by Kopernikus will help better understand how and in what way our planet is changing, why this is happening and how this might influence our daily lives. The system improves our security in many ways, for example by providing early warnings of natural disasters such as forest fires or floods. The information should also help to improve the management of our natural resources, monitor the quality of our waters and air, plan our cities, ease the flow of transportation, optimise agricultural activities and our use of energy.
The JRC has been deeply involved in the continuing evolution of the global monitoring system since the conception of the project through the development of applications, the provision of technical expertise as well as the continuing analysis of the information collected and of EU policy needs in relation to the service.
The JRC provides specific support relating to crisis management and support to emergency humanitarian aid providers; maritime affairs (e.g. satellite ship surveillance and oil-spill detection) and external security. The JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) and Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) are highly active in these fields.