Environmental studies need up-to-date and reliable information on land use and land cover. Such databases, which can be characterized by a high spatial accuracy and that can be updated easily, are currently not available for Europe as a whole. We investigated the applicability of satellite data for Pan-European Land Cover Monitoring (PELCOM). The main objective was to develop a method by which to obtain a 1 km spatial resolution pan-European land cover database that can be updated easily using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (NOAA AVHRR) satellite data. The database will be used as input for environmental impact studies and climate research. The study takes full advantage of both multi-spectral and multi-temporal 1 km AVHRR data. The proposed methodology for land cover mapping has its limitations in monitoring changes due to the spatial resolution and the limited accuracy of AVHRR-derived land cover data. Therefore, a change detection technique based on the use of thematic fraction images highlights those areas where the proportions of the various land cover types have changed.