Global Monitoring For Environment And Security, Europe Gets Ready
(Source : European Commission ; issued Oct. 11, 2001)


On Monday 15 October 2001, in Brussels, top representatives from ESA, the EU and other governmental organizations will participate in a Conference on GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) organized under the aegis of the Belgian EU Presidency.

The full day program, articulated into three sessions, will see the presence of around 300 delegates. Registration will start at 08:30 hrs at the Palais de Congrès, Coudenberg, 3.

The goal of the GMES initiative is to establish a coherent, operational, long-term and user-dedicated information system that meets the specific needs for policy making and research in several fields such as environment, agriculture, regional development, security, and transport. The GMES initiative aims at supporting Europe's leading role in the monitoring of the global environment and provides support to policy makers in the fields of hazards and crisis management.

GMES is one of the two main pillars of the joint European strategy for space, developed by ESA and the EU and adopted in November 2000 by both the ESA Minister's Council and the EU Research Council. In addition, as part of the European Union strategy for Sustainable Development, the Gothenburg European Summit in June 2001 decided that the Community should contribute to establishing a European capacity for global monitoring for environment and security by 2008.

GMES will be geared to meeting a number of challenges: global change and its impact on our environment, including monitoring of treaty commitments; the strain on the environment caused by degradation; natural resource depletion and scarcity; and natural or man-made environmental disasters.

ESA is well placed to respond to these challenges: as of now with ERS, in the near future with Envisat and later on with the Earth Watch and Earth Explorer missions.

ESA can head the space contribution to GMES and be the Commission's natural partner in this initiative. By doing so, ESA follows the mandate given by the ESA and EU Ministers, according to which ESA acts as the implementing agency for the development and procurement of the space segment and the ground segment involved in the European Community's initiatives.

The Brussel's GMES Conference recommendations will serve as an input to the discussions on the implementation of the GMES Program which will be discussed at the upcoming EU Research Council in October 2001 in Brussels and which will be tabled at the ESA Ministerial Council of 14-15 November 2001 in Edinburgh.

Media representatives wishing to attend the Conference are requested to fill in the attached form and fax it back to Françoise Pokorni, OSTC, Brussels for accreditation.

For further information see ESA Press Release N°50 for conference program and media registration form

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