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The Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) is one of the seven scientific institutes of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). Its mission is to provide scientific and technical support to EU policies for the protection of the European and global environment.
Located in Ispra, Italy, the IES carries out research to understand the complex interactions between human activity and the physical environment, and how to manage strategic resources (water, land, forests, food, minerals, etc.) in a more sustainable manner. Together with other JRC institutes, the IES provides the scientific basis for the conception, development, implementation and evaluation of EU policies that promote the greening of Europe and the global sustainable management of natural resources. It also works in partnership with other Directorates General to support the strategic priorities of the European Commission.
The Institute brings together multi-disciplinary teams who work with observations and numerical analyses, and develops the ICT infrastructures necessary to share observations and data. It combines this in-house expertise with its role as a scientific catalyst in order to provide the knowledge base necessary to assess the social, environmental and economic aspects of policy options.
The IES plays an active role in partnerships within the EU and global scientific communities, which are a prerequisite for finding sustainable solutions to today’s global environmental challenges.
Highlight: Launch of the European Soil Partnership
From 22 to 23 May 2014, the JRC-IES hosted the European Soil Partnership plenary meeting, with the aim to define and develop the action plan of this new European initiative. The European Soil Partnership (ESP) has been established during the last Global Soil Week in October 2013, as a regional node of the Global Soil Partnership initiative, in order to federate all institutions and stakeholders in Europe willing to adopt the principles of the World Soil Charter. The objective of this regional network is to bring together the various scattered networks and soil-related activities into a common framework, open to all institutions and stakeholders willing to actively contribute to sustainable soil management in Europe.
The plenary meeting addressed ways to ensure a higher recognition of the central role of soil resources as a basis for food security and their provision of key ecosystem services, including climate change adaptation and mitigation; and draw the action plan for the five pillars defined by the European Soil Partnership:
As the Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to provide EU policies with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support throughout the whole policy cycle. Working in close cooperation with policy Directorates-General, the JRC addresses key societal challenges while stimulating innovation through developing new methods, tools and standards, and sharing its know-how with the Member States, the scientific community and international partners. Key policy areas include: environment and climate change; energy and transport; agriculture and food security; health and consumer protection; information society and digital agenda; safety and security, including nuclear; all supported through a cross-cutting and multidisciplinary approach.