Brussels, 17 Nov 2004
The European Environment Agency (EEA) unveiled the first digital map showing Europe's changing landscapes on 17 November.
The map illustrates the multiple changes experienced by Europe's landscapes between 1990 and 2000. The EEA is proposing that policy makers draw lessons from the maps on how their decisions in areas such as agriculture and transport are impacting upon land resources and the wider environment.
Known as Corine Land Cover (CLC) 2000, the map was developed using IMAGE2000, a satellite imaging programme undertaken together with the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC).
The product is 'a unique tool that makes it possible to measure the dynamic relationship between the many uses of our landscapes and the impacts - and unfortunately all too often the conflicts - that arise from different policies, such as agriculture, regional policy and transport,' said Professor Jaqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the EEA.
CLC 2000 is expected to find a wide range of users. The 1990 survey has been used by people working in research, agriculture, physical planning, forestry, education, transport, demography, tourism, energy and health, as well as the environment. It has also had commercial applications, for example in atlases and in-vehicle navigation systems.
In the policy domain, CLC2000 can provide information to support actions aimed at protecting ecosystems, halting the loss of biological diversity, tracking the impacts of climate change, assessing developments in agriculture and implementing the EU Water Framework Directive.
The development of CLC2000 involved some 300 experts from around 100 organisations across Europe, and cost around 13 million euro. It forms part of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative, run jointly by the European Commission and the European Space Agency. To access CLC2000, please visit: http:///dataservice.eea.eu.int