JRC News

  1. 2 Aug 2007

    Figures released by the Joint Research Centre's European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) show that burned land area in 2007 at 3376 square kilometres is already reaching 2006 totals and that July has been the worst month on record.

  2. 28 Aug 2007

    According to the JRC's European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), 183 987 hectares were burnt in Greece between 24 and 26 August, during the major forest fires that have ravaged that country. This brings the provisional figure to this point in the 2007 forest fire season in Greece to 268 834 hectares. The concentration of damage in the Peloponnese coincides with the fire danger maps produced by EFFIS Fire Danger system that shows the Peloponnese as being the area of Greece with highest meteorological fire risk. However, the forecasts for the coming days show that the fire risk in Greece in general and the Peloponnese in particular will reduce.

  3. 5 Mar 2008

    The European Commission has adopted a Communication on reinforcing the Union's Disaster Response capacity. In order to respond to the growing challenges posed by natural and man-made disasters, the communication proposes that the European Union strengthens its abilities at home and abroad to provide civil protection and humanitarian assistance. The Commission has undertaken a screening exercise of all its existing resources and puts forward as a first step an action plan of specific measures to be implemented before the end of 2008. As a concrete example, the communication includes a specific focus on how to improve the Union's response to forest fires.

    The JRC is supporting the EU's disaster response and civil protection activities in many areas. The European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) is one of the cornerstones of this action plan. EFFIS, managed by the JRC Institute for Environment ans Sustainability (IES), provides the fire danger forecast (currently up to 6 days forecast) during the fire season helping in improving preparedness for forest fire fighting. In addition, EFFIS monitors the forest fire situation in Europe through the provision of information of active fires (hot spots) and the rapid assessment of forest fire damages in the countries. This information is critical for the Member States and the Commission in cases of catastrophic fire events (e.g. Portugal 2003 or Greece 2007) and facilitates the work of the Union's Monitoring and Information Center in is work of coordination of forest fire fighting.

    The JRC IES also develops the European Flood Alert System (EFAS), that will be capable of providing medium-range flood simulations across Europe with a lead-time (time between the detection and the arrival of the flood) of between 3 to 10 days.

    With its expertise in satellite images analysis and information technologies, the JRC Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) is conducting several activities to provide scientific and technical support in crisis situations. IPSC's work supports different phases, from crisis preparedness to damage assessment, including also early warning, alerting and situational monitoring. Some recent examples of IPSC's activities in support to Crisis Management are:

  4. 18 Apr 2008

    As the southern shores of Europe warm up, the risk of forest fires increases. The European Commission and Member States are working closely together to prepare for the coming forest fire season, building on the lessons learnt from the tragic experiences of 2007. Five Member States and the European Commission's disaster Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) are involved in a large-scale simulation exercise in Sardinia that runs from 16 to 19 April. The exercise, SARDINIA 2008, forms part of a larger pilot project co-financed by the European Commission, which aims at developing the notion of a rapid European intervention force for disasters.

  5. 19 Jun 2008

    At the request of the European Commission Delegation in China and in agreement with the Ministry of Science and Technology, the JRC Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) provided a scientific and technical support package to the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Centre of Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CAS/CEODE), in order to contribute to post Wen Chuan earthquake disaster measures, such as damage assessment for reconstruction planning and future disaster risk reduction initiatives.

  6. 5 Aug 2008

    Widespread flooding in Moldova, Ukraine and Romania has triggered a rapid response from the European Commission and EU Member States, who have offered vital assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The assistance includes the provision of boats, pumps, generators, water purification and emergency equipment, while the Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) has dispatched experts to facilitate the coordination of the relief effort on the ground in Moldova and Ukraine.

  7. 20 Nov 2008

    On 18 November 2008 the JRC Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences - Centre for Earth Observation and Digital Earth signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a co-operation in the field of advanced image analysis in support to disaster management.

  8. 16 Jan 2009

    The European Commission has adopted a decision establishing a new major accident report form. The form, intended for use by national authorities as of December 2008, will also be part of a new online system for reporting accidents and disseminating lessons learned from them. The initiative comes in the context of the Seveso II Directive, which aims to promote the exchange of information among EU Member States on accidents and 'near-misses'.

  9. 25 Feb 2009

    On Monday, 23 February the European Commission adopted two Communications related to natural and man-made disasters: the first on an EU-level approach to reducing their impact and a second on an EU strategy for supporting disaster risk reduction in developing countries. The Communications represent a first attempt to establish a more strategic approach to European responses to disasters in the EU and beyond.

  10. 26 Feb 2009

    The world's leading experts in Experimental Earthquake Engineering will meet in Ispra on 2-3 March for the first EFAST (European Facility for Advanced Seismic Testing) Design Study workshop. EFAST is a European project that studies all aspects regarding the design of a major testing facility in Europe that would complement existing facilities.