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satellaite  UNEP ON THE GROUND
New bridge between science and policymakers

UNEP’s Regional Office for Europe has organised a meeting to launch new work it will lead bridging scientists and policymakers together.


Around 30 scientists and practitioners working on Protected Areas (PAs) in Europe gathered in Geneva on 9 October to discuss innovative science-policy communication tools, research outputs and a synthesis study on Earth Observation in decision-making.


The work will be led by UNEP over the next four years under the newly-launched ECOPOTENTIAL project, which is funded under the EU’s Horizon2020 programme.


UNEP’s activities under the project will focus on internationally-recognized areas of high ecological importance in Europe and beyond, with most being UNESCO World Natural Heritage or Natura 2000 sites, Biosphere Reserves or national parks.


ECOPOTENTIAL will also seek to ensure that Earth observation and monitoring data can be used in a new consistent approach to ecosystem studies for managing PAs. This field of work will be made possible by new the open-access ecosystem data services ECOPERNICUS. In this vein, the project will make an important contribution to work carried out by the Group on Earth Observation and UNEP Live.


UNEP is part of a 47-strong consortium for ECOPOTENTIAL. UNEP will work with the World Conservation Monitoring Centre and involve various GRID centres of excellence based in Europe, including the, GRID-Warsaw, GRID-Geneva (formally represented through University of Geneva) and GRID-Arendal in its work on informing decision-making and awareness-raising.


For more information on UNEP’s Ecosystem Management subprogramme, please write to its regional coordinator Thierry Lucas at:


In order to get in touch with the regional coordinator of the Environment Under Review subprogramme please write to Tomas Marques at


The project’s technical coordinator Matthias Jurek can be contacted at

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