According to the United Nations, at least 17% of the Earth’s surface waters and 10% of coastal and marine areas should be protected. The current 13 000 protected areas are insufficient to ensure the survival of the Earth’s biodiversity. EU development policy can play a role in protecting biodiversity. To be able to properly define, target, implement and evaluate development aid strategies and programmes related to natural resource protection, EU policy makers need dynamic information on the location, condition and evolution of environmental resources and on crisis situations.
The main role of the JRC is to provide the tools for monitoring ecosystems and agrosystems, and to contribute to the understanding of the interactions between development, environment, and security issues. It fulfils this role by engaging in near-real-time monitoring activities using satellite data and dedicated geospatial knowledge management systems.
The main objectives of the JRC in this area are to document the quality of high-biodiversity regions, assess the level of threats from human activities (such as agriculture, logging and fires) and set up an operational structure and reporting tools for the ACP Observatory for Sustainable Development.