In our Digital Age, human beings are confronted with two major environmental crises: climate change and biodiversity loss. The first has garnered widespread public attention and funding to tackle, whereas the latter operates more quietly in the background. One of the key challenges to solve the biodiversity crisis is the scarcity of methods for monitoring biodiversity globally using satellites. In a recent publication, Andrew Skidmore and co-authors linked existing remote sensing products from satellite to essential biodiversity variables (EBVs).
The team from ITC, University of Twente and colleagues from companies, space agencies, government, research institutes and universities, with support of GEO BON, the European Space Agency and EU-H2020 projects such as NextGEOSS and e-Shape, linked existing remote sensing products to essential biodiversity variables (EBVs) to measure biodiversity using space-borne platforms. The result was recently published in the journal ‘Nature Ecology & Evolution.’
There is a gap in the work of ecologists and remote sensing specialists, who share the same goal of biodiversity monitoring. Ecological expertise can identify the EBVs to look for to monitor biodiversity change, while remote sensing scientists develop and engineer products that can be practically mapped from space. Linking remote sensing products to EBVs will improve reporting on the state of biodiversity from local to global scales.
Skidmore et al. (2021) Priority list of biodiversity metrics to observe from space. Nature Ecology & Evolution 5: 896–906. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01451-x
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