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GlobWetland

Globwetland

The overall objective of the Ramsar Convention is the conservation and wise use of wet-lands by national actions and international cooperation as a means to achieving sustain-able development. This complex and challenging task requires national, local and international 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 and reliable information.

In the recent years, the use of satellite EO applications within innovative geo-spatial analysis has turned out to be a key tool and unique information source to support the environmental community in different application domains, including wetlands conservation and management. More specifically, existing and future EO technology can play an important role in obtaining suitable information to support the mapping and inventory of wet-lands as a basis for management-oriented assessment and monitoring.

 

In this context, the European Space Agency in collaboration with the Ramsar Secretariat launched in 2003 the GlobWetland I project in order to demonstrate the current capabilities of EO applications to support inventorying, monitoring, assessment of wetlands eco-systems. The project was carried out from 2003 to 2008 in close collaboration with several regional, national and local conservation authorities and wetland managers, involving 52 different wetlands across 21 countries on four continents. This large range of wetlands conservations agencies and wetland sites provided an excellent test bed to asses the potential of EO technology to be applied in different conditions.

The main conclusion of the GlobWetland I project is that EO technology can be a cost-effective and very productive tool for the Ramsar Convention. The technology is now ready and mature enough for a wide uptake in a certain number of areas. The Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention sees huge value for all Contracting Parties involved in the implementation of the Convention at all scales from global to regional, national and local scales and has strongly recommend its use within the Community.

The European Space Agency has therefore decided to continue supporting this effort, in close collaboration with the Ramsar Secretariat and with its Scientific and Technical Review Panel. The first and major continuation of GlobWetland I is the GlobWetland II project.

The success of bringing EO applications within the Ramsar community depends on the capability of both the Earth Observation and the conservation communities to work together in order to develop jointly cost-effective applications that respond at best to the requirements of the responsible conservation authorities.

 
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