By Brian O’Connor

November 1, 2017

This European Space Agency (ESA) funded project supports the efforts of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), and the GEO BON working groups on ecosystem structure and function, among others, to build a global knowledge base for terrestrial ecosystems based on satellite remote sensing observations.

The project, led by the University of Zurich, focuses on the specification and engineering of three RS-enabled EBVs:

  • Fragmentation
  • Canopy chlorophyll concentration
  • Land surface phenology

The project will define, specify and validate best algorithms for these variables. In addition, the project will conduct a feasibility study of vegetation height as an RS-enabled EBV with a focus on future satellite mission requirements.

The 1st RS-enabled EBV workshop

The GlobDiversity project held its first RS-enabled EBV workshop in September. The objective of the workshop was to identify EBVs whose measurement is enabled by satellite remote sensing technology (RS-enabled EBVs) and to specify their technical requirements. During the workshop the assembled experts focused on:

  • filtering and consolidating variables
  • grouping under EBV classes
  • Determining their properties
  • Examining relevance to the Aichi Biodiversity Targets
  • Assigning prioritization values based on relevance, feasibility and remote sensing status

GlobDiversity pilots

GlobDiversity is working with a network of ten pilot sites, all protected areas, which span 6 different biomes from arctic tundra to sub-tropical forest. The sites will be used to test the algorithms and validation of the data products. They will also be the sites for the use case demonstrations – carefully selected studies which incorporate RS-enabled EBVs in biodiversity monitoring and modelling, focusing on:

  1. Production of biodiversity indicators
  2. Site-specific ecological modelling
  3. Historical satellite time series analysis

With this real world context, the project hopes to pave the way for a cost-effective terrestrial biodiversity monitoring system, based on RS-enabled EBVs, on a global scale. Derived information, in the form of biodiversity indicators, will be made available for policy makers for better decision making in support of biodiversity conservation.

The GlobDiversity project has started

News from: GEO BON projects