Copernicus Global Land Cover

The Copernicus Global Land Service (CGLS) continuously provides a set of biophysical variables describing the vegetation conditions, the energy budget at the continental surface, as well as the cryosphere and water cycle across the globe. The Dynamic Land Cover (LC) map at 100m resolution is a new product in the portfolio of the CGLS, which aims to deliver a yearly global land cover map at 100m spatial resolution with an overall accuracy of higher than 85%.

The CGLS LC map provides primary land cover information on the spatial distribution of land cover classes such as evergreen closed forest, evergreen open forest, deciduous closed forest, deciduous open forest, mixed forest, shrubs, herbaceous vegetation, croplands, urban/built-up, bare land/space vegetation, snow and ice, permanent water bodies, temporal water bodies and herbaceous wetlands. Apart from these classes, the map also provides a set of four vegetation continuous fields that provide proportional estimates for vegetation cover types, namely trees, herbaceous vegetation, shrub and bare ground. These continuous classifications may depict areas of heterogeneous LC better than the standard (categorical) classifications and as such can be tailored for application use (e.g. forest monitoring, crop monitoring, biodiversity and conservation, environmental monitoring and security in Africa, climate modelling, etc.).

The C-GLOPS global LC map could also directly or indirectly support some of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 15: “Life on land”, for example, focuses on “protecting, restoring and promoting sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably managing forests, combating desertification, and halting and reversing land degradation and biodiversity loss”. This requires high-quality information on land cover and land cover change.