The Beginning of the Copernicus Global Land Cover and Tropical Forest Mapping and Monitoring Service

In November 2023, the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) and a VITO-led consortium signed a four-year framework contract to implement the new Copernicus Global Land Cover and Tropical Forest Mapping and Monitoring service (LCFM) to continue and enhance the 100m Copernicus Global Land Cover layers and provide a dynamic global land cover service at 10m resolution for the years 2020-2026. We are pleased to have been subcontracted to implement the new service.

Since the release of the 100m Copernicus Global Land Cover layers with a resolution of 100m for 2015 in May 2019 and the annual updates for 2016-2019, numerous users have shown interest in this land cover product. These land cover maps assure high-quality products for every user. The European Space Agency’s (ESA) WorldCover product has also attracted a large number of users thanks to the high spatial resolution (10m) of Sentinel-1 and -2 and the excellent global quality, which has led to a constant demand for this product. In addition, the provision of reliable, timely and consistent tree cover information is crucial to support, among others, the EU Deforestation-Free Regulation (EUDR) and the REDD+ Policy process.

The new LCFM will produce land surface categorisations and land cover features at regular intervals and compile them into global annual land cover maps and tropical forest monitoring products at 10m resolution.

A consortium led by VITO with partners GAF, GeoVille, GFZ, IGN FI and IIASA and the support of two subcontractors, Sinergise and Telespazio Ibérica, has been awarded by the JRC to implement this new service.

The LCFM contract will begin in January 2024 with a ten-month ramp-up phase. During this phase, the innovative workflow will be tested and the results will be refined using a subset covering around 10% of the total land area. Once the results of the ramp-up phase have been evaluated, full-scale production of the annual and sub-annual land cover and forest monitoring products for 2020 will begin. The first public results are expected to be available in early 2025. Subsequently, the service will expand its scope and produce similar products for the years 2021 to 2026.

Read more here.