Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Value of satellites recognised for conserving wetlands

14.11.2008
Wetlands contribute to our lives in remarkable ways by providing food and water, controlling floods, protecting against storms and supporting biodiversity, yet they are experiencing loss and degradation on a massive scale.

Wetlands are areas that are covered with water for long enough periods to support plants that thrive in wet soils, so they are not all wet year-round. The areas include marshes, swamps, bogs and wet meadows.

Countering their loss requires baseline information on wetland resources and effective monitoring programmes, but because they are often made up of complex and impenetrable terrain monitoring them is very difficult.

In this context ESA carried out the GlobWetland project from 2003 to 2008 in order to demonstrate how employing satellite data can support the inventorying, monitoring and assessing of wetland ecosystems. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Ramsar Convention – an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.

ESA recently presented the results and findings of GlobWetland with a side event at the main policy-making forum of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP 10).

The COP 10, held in Changwon, Republic of Korea, from 28 October to 4 November 2008, addressed the importance of further developing and intensifying internationally coordinated actions for the conservation of wetlands. More than two thousand wetland specialists from around the world attended the Conference entitled ‘Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People’.

During the COP 10, Ramsar adopted 33 resolutions, which includes the Strategic Plan that specifies measures to implement the international treaty for wetlands conservation from 2009 to 2014, and the ‘Changwon Declaration on human well-being and wetlands’.

At its side event, ESA announced it will initiate a follow-on GlobWetland project, planned for 2009, and consulted with attendees about how the project could help fulfil the newly adopted Ramsar strategies. The implementation of these will require international, national, and local bodies involved in the implementation of the Convention to rely on suitable geo-information to better understand wetland areas, complete national inventories, perform monitoring activities, carry out assessments and put in practice suitable management plans based on up-to-date, reliable information.

Participants of the side event acknowledged the efforts and resources assigned by ESA in promoting and demonstrating the benefits of Earth Observation (EO) technology for the Ramsar Convention.

Speaking at the side event, Demetra Spala of the Hellenic Ministry of Environment, Planning and Public Works, said that Greece will develop a monitoring protocol using the technology demonstrated in the GlobWetland project.

"We will recommend to the Ramsar Secretariat and Contracting Parties to adopt these methodologies. The benefits are multiple. They would improve our knowledge for more efficient decision making and facilitate the reporting to the Convention," Spala said.

Dr Heather MacKay, Chair of the Ramsar's Scientific and Review Panel (STRP), said: "EO could be a cost-effective and very productive tool for the Convention. The technology is ready and mature enough for uptake on a certain number of areas. The STRP sees huge value for all Parties involved in the implementation of the Convention at all scales from global to regional, national and local scales."

With the follow-on of the GlobWetland project, funded by the Agency’s Data User Element, ESA will strengthen its collaboration with the Ramsar Secretariat and wetland managers to further increase the operational use of EO technologies in support of the Convention and contribute to the set up of a Global Wetland Observing System (GWOS), one of the main objectives of the Ramsar Strategic Plan.

The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands was established in 1971 as an inter-governmental treaty aimed at establishing a framework for the stewardship and preservation of wetlands. Today more than 1822 wetlands have been designated as Wetlands of International Importance, a total area of 168 million hectares. The Convention's 158 national signatories are obliged to report on the state of the wetlands for which they are responsible.

Mariangela D'Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMIDB4DHNF_environment_0.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Modeling magma to find copper
13.01.2017 | Université de Genève

nachricht What makes erionite carcinogenic?
13.01.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>