A two day conference held in Bucharest, Romania last week showed the immense benefits and economic potential of Europe's Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme (GMES) for the region. The conference "GMES: News Opportunities for Eastern Europe" showcased how the GMES emergency response service (SAFER) had supported Romania in responding to the 2010 floods providing flood extent maps in near-real time.
The aim of the conference was to increase awareness in Eastern Europe about GMES and its potential for the environment, civil security and commerce. When GMES enters its operational phase in 2014, decision-makers will have access to reliable, timely and accurate information services to manage the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security. The economic benefits of GMES are estimated to €4–12 for every €1 invested.