The GEOSS ("Global Earth Observation System of Systems") is a coordination structure for the harmonisation of earth observation systems worldwide which are operated by different national or international institutions. The establishment of GEOSS supports administrative and political decisions, scientific research and public and private action for the realisation of the aim of sustainable development.
Effective environmental protection and cross-border civil protection at European scale require comprehensive data and knowledge. These can be collected, linked and evaluated using modern Earth observation and information technologies. This is the aim of Copernicus (formerly GMES; Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), an initiative to create an autonomous European Earth observation system.