SPACE OBSERVATIONS FOR INLAND WATER BIODIVERSITY
European Space Agency
Date and Time
16 October 2012 18:15 - 19:45
Inland water ecosystems encompass one of the most threatened world’s habitats. In some areas, depletion and pollution of important water resources have gone beyond the point of no return. Demands placed by people on natural resources in and around inland waters, particularly the unsustainable use of water resources, are resulting in rapid changes, and in a major decline of biodiversity. In the recent years, the use of spaceborne Earth Observations with innovative geo-spatial analysis has revealed as a key tool and unique information source to support the conservation community in different application domains, including inland water conservation and management. The European Space Agency has launched a number of projects in order to demonstrate the capabilities of EO technology to support the inventorying, monitoring, assessment of inland water ecosystems. Projects are carried out in close collaboration with several international and national conservation authorities. The GlobWetland II project, launched in 2010, contributes to the setting of a Global Wetlands Observing System (G-WOS) in accordance with the Ramsar’s 2009–15 strategic plan. The GlobWetland II project has developed a G-WOS pilot information system, which is currently being demonstrated in 10 countries of the Southern Mediterranean basin, with the production of a number of wetland-related geo-information maps and indicators over 200 wetland sites and surrounding areas, for three points in time (1975,1990 and 2005). The Diversity II project, launched in 2012, contributes to the global assessment of freshwater water quantity and quality, with the provision of key observations over 300 large perennial inland waters (i.e. most natural lakes and water reservoirs which size are over 500 km2 and some natural lakes of biodiversity importance over 100 km2), for the period 2002-2012: water availability (surface water extent and lake surface height), water quality (concentrations of Chla, inorganic suspended material and dissolved organic matters) and lake surface temperatures. The ultimate goal is to derive a number of indicators on the status and trends of biological diversity in natural lakes and reservoirs. With the presentation of both projects, the side event will show how satellite observations can contribute to the assessment and monitoring of biodiversity in inland waters.