Press releases

  1. 21 Feb 2011

    When a major disaster strikes in remote parts of the world, knowing if the area is populated, and how densely, is crucial for the effective organisation of humanitarian operations. The Global Human Settlements Layer (GHSL), developed by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), will soon provide this detailed information for the first time on a global scale. The breakthrough is new advanced algorithms, developed by the JRC, that allow automatic analysis of medium resolution data provided by European satellites. The first test results confirm that the combined use of ICT technologies permit fast and precise mapping of built-up areas, anywhere in the world. In addition, the algorithms allow massive datasets to be processed more efficiently and rapidly, making it possible to monitor the changes in human settlements regularly and equally importantly, to collect the same information from heterogeneous satellite data. This can help to reduce risks in areas that experience recurrent disasters and to focus post-disaster humanitarian interventions on the most likely populated places in disaster affected countries and regions.

  2. 7 Sep 2009

    The European Commission, represented by its Joint Research Centre (JRC), and the African Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), covering 15 African countries, have today signed a Collaboration Agreement. The two organisations aim to co-operate in the field of agriculture and land cover monitoring to support food security and the management of natural resources in East Africa. EU Commissioner for Science and Research, Janez Poto nik, and Uganda's Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Daniel Omara Atubo, witnessed the signature in Nairobi (Kenya).

  3. 27 Mar 2008

    Agreement will allow extension of GMES to developing countries

  4. 4 Aug 2010

    Total cereal production in 2010 should be close to the average from the last five years. While the yield per hectare will be 5% above average, overall cultivated areas have decreased. This agricultural year has been marked by unusual scattered weather events ranging from severe rain shortage to floods. However, the impact of poor weather on crops in some areas of the EU has been offset in other areas. This forecast, published today by the European Commission, is based on analysis by the Commission's in-house scientific service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), using an advanced crop yield forecasting system1.

  5. 15 Feb 2009

    As a result of transatlantic cooperation in the field of environmental mapping technologies, a powerful pattern recognition programme developed by researchers at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) is being adopted by specialists in a number of U.S. federal agencies including the U.S. Department for Agriculture’s Forest Service and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

  6. 28 Aug 2007

    According to the European Commission'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.

  7. 16 Aug 2006

    From 31 July to 14 August, mapping of fires larger than 50 ha with satellite imagery indicates an increase of burnt areas from 13,591 to 49,881 ha in Portugal and from 2,241 to 88,473 ha in Galicia Up to 31 July, more than 64,500 ha were burnt by forest fires in the EU. This is the information received from the Member States and compiled by the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), the system developed by the European Commission to monitor forest fire risk in Europe and provide Member States with early risk warning and damage assessment. After a rather quiet beginning to the fire season in the Mediterranean Regions, the beginning of August has witnessed a sharp increase in fires and burnt areas, mainly in Galicia (Spain) and in neighbouring Portugal. On the other hand, in Northern Regions of Europe an unusually high fire danger was recorded in spring and early summer. The figures for 2006 so far are much less than the 610,000 ha (i.e. twice the area of Luxembourg) burnt in 2005, but the fire season is not yet over.

  8. 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…

  9. 21 Nov 2011

    A new model developed by scientists of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) allows the potential presence of bluefin tuna to be tracked through daily updated maps, helping to protect endangered stocks and fight illegal fishing. The model, based on satellite remote sensing data, provides for the first time an overall view of the preferred bluefin tuna habitats in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as their changes over time. Satellite-based habitat mapping can help identify more precisely areas to be inspected or to be closed for fisheries and it can also help refine estimates of fish stocks, thus contributing to a more effective fisheries management.

  10. 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.