Joint EU-ESA initiative vital contributor to Kyoto talks in Nairobi
Climate experts from all over the world recently gathered in Nairobi to discuss the future of pollution-combating policy. Assessments of greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere and the land use practices that contribute to them are essential in gauging the success of the Kyoto Protocol. The EU-ESA project Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) provides experts with the data needed to make such estimations.
The central topic for discussion proved to be the UN Climate
Secretariat's ‘Greenhouse Gas Data 2006,'
released at the end of October, that contained some mixed messages
on environmental progress. It noted that overall, the emission
of CO2 declined between 1999-2004, an encouraging sign. However,
it goes on to show that that reduction is due to transition
economies of eastern and central Europe (emissions from that
region declined a staggering 36.8 percent), and not something
that can be counted upon to continue in the future. The report's
greatest cause for concern stems from the fact that emissions
from industrialised countries grew by 11 percent.
GSE Forest Monitoring (GSE-FM), which began in February 2003 and is the first of a range of services offered through GMES, integrates the most relevant and recent scientific research and monitoring practices with the latest analytical tools and information technologies aimed at detecting changes in forest area and density. This aids establishing baselines and projections, and estimate averted emissions.
This operational forest and land use monitoring service is provided to the Ministries of Environment and Agriculture in Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Switzerland. Beyond Europe, services are provided for other countries, including Indonesia, South Africa, Uganda and Paraguay, and include the evaluation of Kyoto-authorised Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) afforestation to foster inward investment and sustainable development in developing countries.
ESA was present at the Nairobi summit to highlight GMES'
contribution to activities that support the Protocol, and demonstrate
the Commission's and ESA's support for systematic
global observations for understanding climate change.