The Globcover initiative comprises the development and demonstration of a service that in first instance produces a Global land cover map for year 2005/2006. Globcover uses MERIS fine resolution (300m) mode data acquired between mid 2005 and mid 2006 and, for maximum user benefit, the thematic legend is compatible with the UN Land Cover Classification System (LCCS). This new product updates and complements the other existing comparable global products, such as the global land cover map at 1km resolution for the year 2000 (GLC2000) produced by JRC. It is expected to improve such previous global product, in particular because of the finer spatial resolution. The Globcover project is an initiative of ESA in cooperation with an international network of partner including EEA, FAO, GOFC-GOLD, IGBP, JRC and UNEP.