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:
- 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 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:
- Production of biodiversity indicators
- Site-specific ecological modelling
- 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.