Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Space service for wetlands protection on show at Ramsar COP

14.11.2005


This week ESA has joined around a thousand participants from 146 countries at the main policy making forum of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in Kampala, Uganda. Today sees the presentation of results from an Agency-led initiative to develop a global wetland information service using satellites.



National delegates along with representatives from international organisations and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have met in Uganda’s capital for the eight-day Ninth Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP 9) to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, which began on 8 November. The theme of this COP is ’Wetlands and water: supporting life, sustaining livelihoods’.

The abundant waters of the wetlands scattered across our planet make them zones of rich biological diversity. Provided wetlands remain intact, they provide a range of additional services and benefits to local communities including flood and erosion prevention, water storage and purification, nutrient recycling and the provision of food and animal fodder, improving the livelihoods of millions of people and making a major contribution to sustainable development.


For much of the 20th Century wetlands were drained or otherwise degraded. However increased understanding of the vital importance of wetlands led to the signing of Ramsar in 1971. Among the activities of the current Ramsar COP is deciding new additions to the 1524 wetlands so far designated as Wetlands of International Importance – making up a total of 129 million hectares listed worldwide, with national signatories pledged to preserve the ecological character of sites on their territory and report on their status.

Being presented today to delegates at a COP 9 side event are initial results from an ESA-initiated service that uses Earth Observation technology to make that task easier. The Globwetland project employs satellite imagery to provide detailed wide-area views of individual wetlands and their surrounding water catchments, and show changes over time. The intention is for Globwetland products to serve as tools of local wetland managers as well as a means to aid Ramsar reporting.

Accordingly Globwetland is user-oriented, with the information products now being prototyped being based on the specific requests of local and national users from 50 wetland sites in 21 countries across four continents: Africa, North and South America, Europe (including European Russia) and Africa. Wetland manager users are also helping to ground-truth the Globwetland products.

Guided by user requirements, Globwetland core products include base maps, land-use-land-cover (LULC) maps and change detection maps, with historical satellite images being compared with current acquisitions to highlight shifts that have occurred during the past decade or more. Water cycle regime monitoring maps are also being created, using Envisat and Radarsat radar data to show flood and retreat patterns.

Specialised products available by request include digital elevation models (DEMs) and biophysical data acquired from multispectral satellite sensors, showing vegetation health based on chlorophyll levels, or the sediment content of wetland water bodies.

ESA is also manning a stand with information on Globwetland throughout the eight-day COP 9.

The overall need for Globwetland products is clear: COP 9 began with the release of the Wetlands Synthesis Report of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA), which is an international programme on ecosystem change launched by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan in June 2001 and completed in March 2005. The results show that wetlands are the hardest-hit of all ecosystems, and that their decline has accelerated in recent years.

Globwetland partners

Vexcel Canada Inc is leading the Globwetland consortium on behalf of ESA’s Data User Element (DUE), with subcontractors Remote Sensing Solutions GmbH of Germany and GIS Applications of the Netherlands. The Netherlands-based Wetlands International is also taking part, both as a sub-contractor and also as a link to the global wetland science community.

Mariangela D’Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMNUTJBWFE_environment_0.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Scientists team up on study to save endangered African penguins
16.11.2017 | Florida Atlantic University

nachricht Climate change: Urban trees are growing faster worldwide
13.11.2017 | Technische Universität München

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>