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Natural Areas

Whether you’re monitoring crops, modelling green energy installations or soil sealing, combatting loss of natural resources or just helping countries meet their Sustainable Development Goals, chances are high that you’ll need an accurate and spatially detailed map on land cover and land use. Earth Observation satellites, like those from EU’s flagship programme Copernicus, are key to providing such maps, at a global scale, with free and open access. Derived from the Copernicus Global Land Cover, this map represents the distribution of areas where land cover is not heavily disturbed by man’s activities. In other words, it shows areas where natural ecosystems and their associated species are expected to be found.

Buchhorn, M. ; Smets, B. ; Bertels, L. ; De Roo, B. ; Lesiv, M. ; Tsendbazar, N. - E. ; Herold, M. ; Fritz, S. Copernicus Global Land Service: Land Cover 100m: collection 3: epoch 2019: Globe 2020. DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3939050


This dataset inherits the accuracy and limitations of the original dataset (see ‘Copernicus Global Land Cover 2019’ metadata). Furthermore, land cover classes such as ‘Open forest, mixed’, ‘Shrubs and ‘Herbaceous vegetation’ include a variable percentage of cropped land that is not mappable, resulting in a slight overestimation of natural areas coverage.

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