You are here

Biodiversity and Environmental Protection



Biodiversity refers to the variety of flora and fauna on Earth, within and between all species of plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems within which they live and interact. Biodiversity is both intrinsically valuable in its own right, and essential to the health and resilience of the environment on which we depend for our natural resources.


Monitoring the environment in order to support its protection and sustainable use is the main "raison d'être" of Copernicus. It permanently monitors land, atmosphere and oceans and provides timely and accurate information on the state of our planet.


As far as land is concerned, Copernicus provides information on land use, soil moisture, vegetation state including forests, water quality and quantity for both rivers and lakes, snow cover, land carbon, etc.

This information can in turn be used to support applications in many different domains including spatial planning (e.g. urban growth monitoring), water management (lake/reservoir depths and levels), forest management (e.g. crown cover density monitoring), protected area management (e.g. Natura 2000 site monitoring) and biodiversity (e.g. habitat monitoring), which all play a key role in environmental protection.


In the domain of marine monitoring, Copernicus provides information on parameters that characterise the state of our oceans and regional seas, such as temperature, salinity, currents, ice extent, sea level and primary ecosystems.

This information supports a wide range of applications in domains related to the protection of the marine environment such as marine resources management (e.g. fish stock management), climate and seasonal forecasting (e.g. ice seasonal forecasting) and marine and coastal environment (e.g. water quality monitoring).


The Copernicus atmosphere monitoring service completes the picture by providing information on key constituents such as greenhouse gases, reactive gases, ozone and aerosols.

This continuous monitoring and forecasting of the composition of the atmosphere enables in particular to assess pollution levels, which also have an impact on the environment.



Variety of coastal wetland habitats
in the Ventes Ragas in the Nenumas River Delta, Lithuania

(Credits: CLMS)

Slightly oily water (black) released by oil platforms (bright points)
of the coast of Norway

(Credits: European Space Agency)


Application examples: