GSE is the first programme fully dedicated to GMES. It focuses upon the delivery of policy-relevant services to end-users, primarily (but not exclusively) from EO sources. GSE is a key element of GMES, since it enables end-users to become involved in 'closing the loop' between the operational results obtained from the present generation of EO satellites and the definition of future systems.

The GMES Services Element supports the development of sustainable service delivery networks in two phases:

  • An initial consolidation phase with the objective of providing complete, clear and convincing answers to the following questions:

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    • What information is needed?
    • ­What services can be provided? ­
    • What are the benefits for Europe’s citizens? ­
    • Do the benefits justify the costs?

  • A second scaling-up phase with the following objectives:
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    • Demonstrate progress towards long-term sustainability for a set of GMES services ­
    • Deliver services and benefits to users on progressively larger scales ­
    • Establish a durable, open, distributed GMES Service Provision Network ­
    • Establish common standards and working practices for GMES Services

Ten service portfolios have already completed a consolidation phase and are now being set up as seven service portfolios organised as follows:

Three European level service portfolios:

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  • Marine and coastal environmental information services ­
  • Polar environment information services ­
  • Land cover and Land use change information services

Four regional level service portfolios:

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  • Forest monitoring information services ­
  • Flood and Fire risk management services ­
  • Geotechnical risk management services ­
  • Food Security information services

Two more information services will complete the consolidation phase in late 2005. These are:

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  • Information services for Humanitarian Aid ­
  • Information services for atmospheric pollution monitoring

Finally, a new consolidation activity has just started in the area of Maritime Security.

These service portfolios represent an important part of the portfolio defined in the GMES Initial Services agreed by the GMES Advisory Council. In addition, key elements of these services will form a foundation for the Fast Track or GMES Pilot Services due to be started by the European Commission in 2007.

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