JRC News

  1. 21 Apr 2009

    The European Commission has today adopted a Communication paving the way for a new classification of agricultural areas with 'natural handicaps' deserving of special agricultural aid. The classification is based on eight soil, terrain and climate-related criteria established by the JRC's Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) in collaboration with a network of scientific experts as a basis for objectively and clearly categorising such areas.

  2. 5 Mar 2009

    Food insecurity is one of the greatest challenges of today with almost one billion people undernourished worldwide. This number has recently been growing due to soaring food prices. The current economic crisis and climate change prospects are among the possible aggravating factors for the years to come.

  3. 22 Feb 2010

    Satellite observation is the key instrument that will allow to double in 2010 the number of countries monitored in real time for detecting first indications of adverse agricultural outcomes. The new Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) system facilitates and accelerates the reaction time in responding to food security crises by providing a common and internationally recognised classification of their severity.

    The JRC, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the American Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) are working to innovate and reinforce their food security monitoring systems and to develop more efficient early warning tools. These efforts come as a response to the 2007-2008 global food crises that significantly increased the number of countries under threat of famine.

    The JRC will this year extend the real time monitoring system it has developed to forecast food crises. The monitoring will not only cover the Horn of Africa but all of the most food insecure countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. As the Earth observation and agroclimatic data regularly received by the JRC is global, other countries outside Africa can also be monitored in case of food security crises.

    These efforts have been made possible by the new IPC system that is built on a large consensus and accepted internationally. At the same time, it avoids contradictory results deriving from the use of different scales and therefore facilitates the donors' response.

    In December 2009, the European Commission decided to allocate € 1 276 269 (more than 1.7 million US dollars) over a period of 14 months to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).Together with the JRC, FEWS NET and the other organisations involved in the development of the classification, the FAO will implement the second phase of the IPC initiative in at least 8 focus countries (6 of which located in Sub Saharan Africa) through improved technical development, field support and institutionalisation.

  4. 15 Feb 2008

    The latest satellite technologies offer a vital tool in the battle to eliminate illegal logging from Africa, while at the same time helping to ensure food security and sustainable development and improve international disaster relief efforts across the continent, the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) was told today.

  5. 27 Nov 2013

    Launched today at the European Development Days in Brussels, EU Aid Explorer is a unique web tool that provides easy access to clear, complete and accurate data on development and humanitarian aid around the world. Maps and graphs are used to visualise which donor is active where, which sectors and countries receive how much assistance and how funding changes over time.

  6. 29 May 2013

    The JRC and the Centre for Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency (ECREE) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance collaboration at the occasion of the Vienna Energy Forum, organised by the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO). This cooperation framework will facilitate the development of common tools (e.g. country specific maps with renewable energy based electricity costs), validation of results and publication.

  7. 11 Nov 2013

    More than 700 residential buildings were completely destroyed and more than 1200 were damaged by the Haiyan typhoon in the Tacloban city alone (Philippines). This is the result of the first rapid damage assessment carried out soon after the event by the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS), coordinated by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). The damage assessment maps are expected to support response activities and, in the longer term, reconstruction efforts.

  8. 23 Jun 2009

    Scientists at the JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) have released an innovative Post Harvest Losses Information System, generating figures for the Post Harvest Losses (PHLs) of cereal crops in Eastern and Southern Africa and documenting in a transparent manner the sources and factors in play such as climatic conditions, types of farm and pests. The system is fully accessible online at http://www.phlosses.net.

  9. 5 May 2009

    Ireland's Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Patrick Cunningham, made an extensive tour of over ten laboratories during a three-day visit to the JRC's Ispra site before chairing the African Session of the remote sensing conference in Stresa (Italy). During a guest lecture to staff he outlined his vision of the greatest challenges facing the planet today.

  10. 27 Mar 2008

    Today the JRC and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) signed a collaboration agreement that will allow both institutions to combine their efforts in addressing the environmental challenge currently posed by climate change, with a clear focus on developing countries.

    The agreement foresees the provision of data generated by the JRC’s African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Observatory for Sustainable Development to African countries via EUMETCast, EUMETSAT’s near-real-time broadcast system for environmental data. Earth observation contributes effectively to monitoring weather, climate and the environment. EUMETSAT, an operator of weather, climate and environmental monitoring satellites, and the JRC have decided to strengthen their links in this domain.The collaboration will improve scientific knowledge and product development in the field of climate monitoring, allowing both organisations to contribute effectively to monitoring the climate, in support of the Implementation Plan of the Global Climate Observing System, created in 1992 by the United Nations to ensure that observations and information needed to address climate-related issues are obtained and made available to all potential users.

    Based on the organisations’ respective experience in Earth observation applications in developing countries, the collaboration will allow both EUMETSAT and the JRC to cooperate in contributing to the extension of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) to ACP countries.

    At the signing ceremony, Dr. Roland Schenkel, Director-General of the JRC said: “Ensuring strong links between a research-based policy support organisation - the JRC - and an operational organisation – EUMETSAT - both involved in the field of Earth observation, will greatly facilitate the difficult process of transforming research results into operational products that can be delivered on a sustainable and regular basis to users.”