Addressing this threat, world governments agreed through the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to reduce significantly the current rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. To support this initiative, ESA has kicked off its new DIVERSITY project.
Biodiversity, the variety of life including ecosystems, species, populations and genes, is of grave importance for sustaining the planet’s six billion people. The loss of biodiversity threatens our food supplies, energy and medicines. For instance, up to 80% of the world's population currently relies on plant and animal-based medicines for their primary health care needs. The sustainable use of biodiversity’s components will not only save ecosystems and species, but it may also save the foods and medicines of tomorrow.
"The United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (UNCBD) agreed on a set of headline indicators to assess the progress made towards this target. DIVERSITY will make a contribution to the required monitoring efforts that will help us to determine whether we are making progress and which management and policy measures are most effective and thereby support decision-making," the UNCBD Secretariat Robert Höft said.
DIVERSITY project services and products are being developed to relate to the different areas where Earth observation (EO) technology may contribute to the conservation and monitoring activities of the different actors involved in UNCBD in Central America. ESA has identified four main users: the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Secretariat of the UNCBD, the Centro American Commission for Environment and Development (CCAD) and MarViva.
Based on the initial user requirements, the following products and services will be generated covering the entire Centro American region, one of the main biodiversity reserves in our planet: Mesoamerican biological corridor change detection maps; coral reef maps; ocean water quality monitoring services; and mangrove maps. The projects will also investigate wildlife migration processes from the Galapagos Islands to Cocos Island. Finally, the project will provide a global map of dry lands based on existing global datasets to the UNCBD.
The DIVERSITY project, developed under ESA's Data User Element (DUE) programme, is being carried out in collaboration with the UNCBD Secretariat and UNESCO, which, in addition to being a user, is also the main coordinator between the users and contractors selected by ESA.
"With this activity, ESA and UNESCO are aiming to derive a working methodology," UNESCO’s Mario Hernandez said. "We plan to start deriving biodiversity indicators, which means that for the first time we will go one step further in Earth observation measurements – ‘from space to place’."
MarViva, a non-governmental organisation working to promote a more sustainable use of coastal and marine resources in oceanic and coastal areas in Latin America and the Caribbean, will use various DIVERSITY products and services to study the Galapagos and Cocos Islands in the Tropical Eastern Pacific Marine Corridor.
"We have the responsibility to use these products correctly and to offer this valuable information to key organisations and decision makers for their goal of improving the quality of life, keeping the tremendous diversity of the region protected and making sustainable use of our marine resources, for our future generations," MarViva’s Michael Rothschild said.
Because the development of these products requires different expertise, a consortium of four organisations – GeoVille Austria (prime contractor), Norway’s Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, the UK’s Marine Spatial Ecology Lab and France’s Collecte Localisation Satellites – has been chosen to take the leading role in the technical development of the services and products.
"DIVERSITY responds directly to key concerns expressed through the Convention process regarding the future integrity of natural ecosystems, the survival of species and the goods and services they offer to humankind," the UNCBD’s Höft said. "It also demonstrates the responsible role of the private sector in offering tools and services for the benefit of the global community."
Mariangela D'Acunto | alfa
How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
Using drones to estimate crop damage by wild boars
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering