The environment is closely monitored at an international level. At a European level, we lend both technical and scientific support to various land monitoring activities. We also contribute to their improvement and enhancement.
Large-scale environmental monitoring takes place at both national and international levels. At the European level, it is coordinated by the European Environment Agency (EEA). As a member of the EEA, Switzerland provides its national environmental data, which are then used in European environmental reports. The landscape and its changes have been continuously monitored at the European level for a long time. For example, since 1990, the development of land use (e.g. agriculture, forestry, and industry) and land cover (e.g. grassland, forest, and buildings) has been comprehensively recorded in the "CORINE Land Cover (CLC)" inventory. Parameters such as impervious surfaces, tree densities and river areas are also mapped at a high resolution every three years throughout Europe. On behalf of the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), we lend technical and scientific support for European land monitoring by contributing our knowledge of remote sensing methodology and our many years of experience with monitoring programmes at an international level.
Improving Environmental Monitoring
The European countries are endeavouring to improve their cooperation and the harmonisation of their environmental data. We support these initiatives on behalf of the FOEN. Therefore, we participate in the "HELM - Harmonised European Land Monitoring" project and are involved in the EAGLE (EIONET Action Group on Land Monitoring in Europe) working group. In this working group, all stakeholders exchange their experiences, pursuing technical developments and developing proposals for improved European land monitoring.
We also support the FOEN in the overall process of updating the "CORINE Land Cover" inventory and verify the EEA's monitoring data on land use and land cover in the Swiss territory. As part of the "Copernicus" earth observation programme, we monitor developments in the area of land monitoring, develop our own services and evaluate new products in the area of land cover.