Press releases

  1. 5 Mar 2012

    With its 1.7 billion square kilometres, an area equivalent to 5 times the size of Germany, the Congo Basin forest is the world's second largest tropical forest. The 'State of the Congo Basin Forests 2010' report launched in Douala, Cameroon, at the Annual meeting of the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP), provides a comprehensive and detailed assessment of the status of this crucial pool for climate regulation and natural resources. It looks at deforestation patterns, points to trends in sustainable forest management and highlights threats to biodiversity.

  2. 16 Feb 2009

    The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) is intensifying and globalising its research activities relating to desertification and drought. The JRC recently set up a new research team with a view to developing benchmarks and indicators for monitoring and assessing desertification processes on a range of geographic scales. The research team is already engaged in several regional and global networks, providing support to policy makers at a European level and beyond. It also provides scientific support for the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) ten-year implementation strategy and reform process. The Commission's renewed interest in desertification and 'dryland' science is beginning to produce results.

  3. 14 Mar 2012

    A new assessment of available water resources, published today by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), reveals that large areas in Spain and Eastern Europe have on average less than 200 mm freshwater available every year while the demand for water is three to ten times higher. The report 'Current Water Resources in Europe and Africa' shows variations in yearly freshwater generation from 10 mm to over 500 mm for Europe and from less than 0.1 mm to over 500 mm for Africa. The report outlines existing uncertainties and points to further research efforts needed for improved water management.

  4. 10 Nov 2011

    Following the release of a Commission report on critical raw materials in 2010, scientists at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) highlighted in a new report that five metals, essential for manufacturing low-carbon technologies, show a high risk of shortage. Reasons for this lie in Europe's dependency on imports, increasing global demand, supply concentration and geopolitical issues. The report recommends actions to prevent shortages and thus allow a smooth implementation of the Commission's Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan, aimed at accelerating the development and deployment of low carbon technologies.

  5. 28 Sep 2011

    The EU Joint Research Centre (JRC) has developed a statistical modelling tool which allows the risk of conflict occurrence in developing countries to be analysed. Combining online news reports with geographical satellite data, the tool establishes a link between natural resources and the risk of conflict. A key advance is the very detailed scale of the data (most being gathered to the square kilometre) and the fact that the modelling is based on the seriousness of the conflicts. When tested, the model successfully identified the correlation between resource-rich areas of land and occurrence of conflict. This approach has potential use in the European Commission's development aid planning and crisis prevention.

  6. 26 Apr 2013

    The European Commission has today presented the first Soil Atlas of Africa, highlighting a vital natural resource which provides food, fodder, fuel wood, reduces flood risk and protects water supplies. With full colour maps and illustrations, the atlas explains in a simple and clear manner the diversity of soil across the African continent and emphasizes the importance of this non-renewable resource. Coordinated by the European Commission's in-house science service, the JRC, an internationally renowned group of soil scientists from Africa and Europe has contributed to this atlas. The aim is to raise awareness at all levels – from politicians to the general public - of the significance of soil to life in Africa.