The policy framework GMES as a guideline for the integration of environmental security research and landscape sciences
“Environmental security” is a relatively new concept. It might be regarded as a subset of the wider term “human security”. In this section we commence from a short theoretical discussion on the underlying concepts. Then we hypothesise that monitoring capacities for environmental security are increasingly needed. We argue that these monitoring tasks require not only technical means but a sound methodology to analyse evaluate and predict changes to a citizen’s secure and lively environment. To understand what a “secure and lively environment” for (European) citizen may mean, sociopolitical aims are to be defined. We use the political goals of the European Commission drawn up in Gothenburg in 2001 and the subsequently evolving GMES programme as a guideline and juxtapose this somewhat positivistic political view to the state of the art of the monitoring capacities and underlying methodologies. In practical terms, GMES is today a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Space Agency, designed to establish a European capacity for the operational delivery and use of information in support of Environment and Security policies. Despite advances made in sensor technology, observing networks, data evaluation techniques and information technology, production of the information needed for effective policy decisions on environment and security issues often remains below its full potential. Politically, it is of particular concern that Europe does not possess the independent capacity to assess the key drivers and impacts of change in these areas, to evaluate its policy responses. Still, there are a very limited number of independent, critical, and scientifically sound investigations on GMES beyond somewhat positivistic “official” EU publications. This paper investigates the linkages and future consequences of this programme to environmental security research and the role of landscape sciences. Building on ongoing work within the GMES Network of Excellence – GMOSS and on studies within the NATO working group on landscape sciences we elucidate the technical capacities of Earth observations and GIS. We conclude that the scientific challenges are mainly methodological. Finally, we sketch what a future framework for the integration of environmental security research and landscape sciences should take into consideration.
Keywords: Environmental security; landscape ecology; earth observation; landscape sciences
KeywordsGeographic Information System European Space Agency Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Security
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