HELM Maturity Model for European Land Monitoring

The model provides a framework for a natural sequence of activities leading to a stepwise harmonisation. It was inspired by the ERA-Net scheme. The project phases of HELM reflect these five steps.


Step 1: Interest

Communication between stakeholders involved in national land monitoring programmes or activities:

Learning about each other • building reciprocal knowledge on national/sub-national actors and activities and (planned) authoritative land monitoring systems • exchange of opinions and best practices • achievement of a basic and informal common understanding


Step 2: Visions

Joint planning for the future:

Common strategic issues and opportunities identified • already achieved synergies between certain countries used as examples • barriers hindering transnational collaboration in land monitoring recognised • standards (e.g., CLC) generally considered beneficial • intention to provide mutual support and to mutually adapt, no practical collaboration yet


Step 3: Joint Activities

Taking on individual tasks collectively in a spontaneous, not sustained way, national land monitoring systems retain all independence:

Familiarity with differences and complementarities and gaps in national systems • data requirements common to several countries used to deduce tasks to be combined • improving data quality or reduce costs by joining forces • raising awareness with other stakeholders on the advantages of harmonised land monitoring in the frame of GMES


Step 4: Alignment

Lasting, mutual alignment of national land monitoring systems, integrating a range of tasks, partial reduction of independence accepted:

Transnational aggregation of land monitoring data by several MS • on the political side owing to mutual trust and enabling administrative circumstances, on the applied/technical side owing to widely accepted harmonised LULC data model(s) • comparability of nomenclature and synchronisation of timing • this alignment establishes the prerequisite for a Europe-wide data integration.


Step 5: Integration

Permanent collaboration across all political levels, aggregation of aligned LULC data is routine, European products directly draw from national efforts:

A common European data model established and part of the environmental aquis • data predominantly produced de-centrally within the MS and receive centrally provided support • European actors have clear common LULC data needs • national/sub-national data aggregated to fulfil these needs • bottom up European land monitoring embedded in an operational worldwide bottom-up LULC System of Systems • the continuity of such a program is ensured and its ability to report meaningfully on LULCC