GAF AG and Partners Monitor Changes at NATURA2000 Sites across Europe

As part of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service’s local component, a European consortium headed by GAF AG is conducting a detailed assessment of land cover/land use changes at more than 750 European Natura2000 sites, on behalf of the European Environment Agency (EEA).

Munich, Germany, Aug 6, 2015 --Semi-natural and natural grasslands are important European ecosystems that provide high biodiversity and a range of other environmental and societal functions. The intensification of agriculture and grassland management, land abandonment, drainage, shrub encroachment, afforestation, changing population structures and urbanisation are increasingly threatening these valuable natural communities. A series of European policies have therefore been created in order to safeguard such declining grassland biotopes. Pivotal in this context is Natura2000, which has established a network of protected areas including important (semi-)natural grasslands. However, even these protected grasslands are threatened by degradation and destruction.

For this reason, a team of experienced European service providers (GAF, INDRA, Metria and GeoVille) has been awarded a contract by the European Environment Agency to investigate land cover/land use developments and trends at a representative selection of Natura2000 sites and their immediate vicinity between the years 2006 and 2012. Based on 2.5m spatial resolution optical satellite imagery, the consortium will answer the question whether/in how far the Natura2000 network has been successful in halting the loss of (semi-)natural species-rich grasslands, or in improving the conservation status of degraded habitats. This will entail a detailed analysis of the specific pressures and threats being exerted by the observed land cover/land use changes, in order to draw conclusions on possible future developments on a European and regional scale.

This latest project in the Copernicus Land local component complements the other initiatives by providing a detailed zoom-in on ‘hot spots’ of biodiversity and human activity, e.g. the Riparian Zones and Urban Atlas. In the Natura2000 project, GAF is responsible for the overall project and quality management, as well as for conducting the very-high resolution land cover/land use mapping and change assessment for western and central Europe, most of Italy and parts of south-eastern Europe.


Example of abandoned semi-natural grassland in
the Bavarian Alps, Germany (left); detailed land
cover/land use (2012) around a Natura2000 site
near Regensburg, Germany (right) 
Images: GAF AG

About GAF AG

GAF AG is an e-Geos/Telespazio company based in Munich, Germany. It is a leading solutions provider with an international reputation as a skilled and reliable supplier of data, products and services in the fields of geo-information, satellite remote sensing, spatial IT and consulting for private and public clients. GAF is one of the most experienced European service providers in the EU/ESA Copernicus Programme and covers all the thematic domains: Land, Marine, Atmosphere, Climate Change, Emergency Management and Security. GAF also provides solutions in the sectors of natural resources management, water and environment, renewable resources, mining and geology. Over the past 29 years, GAF has been active in more than 100 countries throughout Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. Further information is available at

About EEA

The European Environment Agency (EEA) is a European Union public body seated in Copenhagen, Denmark. It supports the European Union in the development and implementation of environmental policy by providing relevant, reliable, targeted and timely information on the state of the environment and future prospects, as well as independent scientific knowledge and technical support. The European Commission’s Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) entrusted EEA with coordinating the implementation of the Copernicus Land service’s continental (pan-European) and local components, as well as cross-cutting in situ coordination. Currently, the EEA has 33 member countries (the 28 Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey) and 6 cooperating countries. Further information is available at

About Copernicus Land Monitoring

Copernicus, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), is the European programme for establishing a European capacity for earth observation. The objective of its Land Monitoring service is to provide users in the field of the environment and other terrestrial applications with consistent and up-to-date information based on space data and other sources. It addresses a wide range of policies, such as environmental issues, regional development, agriculture, transport and energy, at the EU level, as well as European commitments to International Conventions. It consists of three main components: global, continental (pan-European) and local. Further information on the Copernicus Programme is available at Information on the Copernicus Land Monitoring service is available at



Daniela Miller

Arnulfstr.199, 80634 Munich

Tel. +49 89 12 15 28-0

Fax. +49 89 12 15 28-79

Email Contact

Read the complete story ...

Review Article Be the first to review this article


Featured Video
SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR for Palm Beach County Human Resources at West Palm Beach, FL
Developer-Support-Implementation Engineer for EDA Careers at San Francisco Area, CA
Solidworks Product Designer for NASCENT Technology at Charlotte, NC
CAD/CAM Regional Account Manager (Pacific Northwest) for Vero Software Inc. at Seattle, WA
Upcoming Events
UGIC CONFERENCE 2017 at Park City Utah - May 8 - 12, 2017
C4ISR Summit 2017 at Armed Forces Officers Club Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates - May 9 - 10, 2017
8th Electronic Materials and Processes for Space (EMPS) Workshop at Noordwijk Netherlands - May 10 - 12, 2017
Teledyne Optech
University of Denver GIS Masters Degree Online
xponential2017 - Countless CAD add-ons, plug-ins and more.

Internet Business Systems © 2017 Internet Business Systems, Inc.
595 Millich Dr., Suite 216, Campbell, CA 95008
+1 (408)-337-6870 — Contact Us, or visit our other sites:
AECCafe - Architectural Design and Engineering EDACafe - Electronic Design Automation TechJobsCafe - Technical Jobs and Resumes  MCADCafe - Mechanical Design and Engineering ShareCG - Share Computer Graphic (CG) Animation, 3D Art and 3D Models
  Privacy Policy