Eastern Europe and Central Asia


Observing the Earth to enforce environmental law

enviroLENS, a Horizon 2020 innovation project funded by the European Commission, aims to demonstrate and promote the use of Earth Observation (EO) as direct evidence for environmental law enforcement, including in a court of law and in related contractual negotiations. By using European satellite capacities, such as those provided by Copernicus, enviroLENS responds to the demands of the environmental legal sector in the context of evidence-based decision-making processes.

The enviroLENS project aims to deliver EO-based evidence on environmental incidences and/or environmental law violations in order to facilitate the data gathering process as well as to reduce the number of expert field inspections.  It addresses both the pro-active monitoring perspective to prevent damage to the environment, as well as the assessment of environmental violations for the enforcement of environmental law. Further, it will support environmental impact assessment procedures by providing information that supports contractual negotiations and discussions with clients.

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Coordinated by GeoVille, the project combines the competence and expertise of Sinergise, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and DLA Piper to demonstrate and validate the value of using Earth Observation in the environmental law sector.

DLA Piper and IUCN's on-the-ground examples will prove the applicability, the reliability and the relevance of the EO tools in the enforcement of environmental law. These examples also serve as showcases to stimulate acceptance and standardization and to promote the power of satellite imagery data as a reliable, timely, accurate and cost-effective source of evidence to the wider environmental law and conservation community.

Expected results

The main outcome of this innovation project will be a service portfolio that combines components from the corporate and legal sectors (offering evidence, show-cases and contacts for legal services based on specific location and theme) with EO-based services (alarming, monitoring and recording) to create value-added information that supports evidence-based decision-making in the environmental domain.

enviroLENS aims to:

  • ASSESS current legal practices, user requirements and barriers of present environmental law enforcement procedures  and illustrate the potential of EO-based evidence;
  • ENGAGE key representatives for the enforcement of environmental law at local, national, European and global levels;
  • DEVELOP an innovative, fully automated service portfolio that delivers specific evidence based on EO data, through the use of Copernicus data streams;
  • DEMONSTRATE the quality, confidence and added value of EO-based evidence for legal environmental law enforcement through several show cases;
  • PROMOTE the uptake of the enviro-LENS service portfolio by establishing a business model that allows integration of the technology and incubation of new service providers, including a location based brokerage service for citizens to contact specialised corporate law firms.
  • Full project title: Copernicus for environmental law enforcement
  • Project duration: 24 months
  • The official start of the project: 1 December 2018
  • Total budget: €2.523.918,75
  • EU funding: €1.998.924,38

Copernicus is the European Union's Earth Observation Programme, looking at our planet and its environment for the ultimate benefit of all European citizens. It offers information services based on satellite Earth Observation and in situ (non-space) data such as ground based weather stations, ocean buoys and air quality monitoring networks to help us better understand our planet and sustainably manage the environment we live in.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 821918. The sole responsibility for any error or omission lies with the editor. The content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Commission. The European Commission is also not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

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