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Making Earth Observation Work for UK Biodiversity Conservation - WC0781

Description
The overall aim of this short term project is to collate and compile information from other recent reviews (including those undertaken by Defra, JNCC, the country agencies, members of the Forum for Earth Observation Applications, and relevant EU projects) to produce a succinct summary of the use of Earth Observation* for operational biodiversity surveillance by UK country conservation agencies; and to identify potential opportunities for use of Earth Observation techniques to address gaps and provide more cost-effective approaches that will inform development of further subsequent projects in phases 2 and 3. The focus will be on Priority Habitats and Habitats Directive Annex 1 habitats) in the UK for both country and UK level needs.

The requirement is for work that will:

• provide a systematic assessment by habitat of where and how Earth Observation (EO) and geoinformatic approaches are providing, or can provide, competitive (in time and money) solutions for making habitat measurements (specifically extent; distribution; condition; and change to all these parameters) and assessing ecosystem service. Such solutions should be considered on two time scales as priority
o short term – turning currently available and operational EO and geoinformatic techniques into operational approaches;
o medium term - where up to 5 years may be required to translate promising research into operational approaches;
o with an indication of long term solutions where possible– where 5-10 years are required for the development of new research or techniques and the translation of the findings into operational techniques;
• identify the barriers (technical, organisational or otherwise) to achieving the short and medium-term solutions;
• identify options for the work required to overcome these barriers;
• use this assessment of the actual and potential application of EO and geoinformatic approaches to provide the UK’s input into a GMES ‘use case’ for biodiversity.

*For the purposes of this project ‘Earth Observation and geoinformatic approaches’ includes both the acquisition and application of aerial or satellite-derived datasets; and their integration both with a wider range of GI datasets and techniques and data derived from field sampling and ground-based observations.
Objective
The aims and objectives of the project are to:
• Provide a summary and systematic assessment of where and how EO and geoinformatic approaches are providing, or can provide, competitive solutions for making habitat measurements (extent; distribution; condition; and change) for Priority Habitats and Habitat Directive Annex 1 habitats, and assessing ecosystem services. Such solutions should be considered on two time scales as priority:
o short term – turning currently available and operational EO and geoinformatic techniques into operational approaches;
o medium term - where up to 5 years may be required to translate promising research into operational approaches;
o with an indication of long term consideration where possible – where 5-10 years are required for the development of new research or techniques and the translation of the findings into operational techniques;
• Provide summary information of the existing EO techniques, costs and outcomes
• Update and complete the spreadsheet, which will be provided by JNCC, listing relevant generic surveillance mechanisms used by countries of the UK,
• Identify whether current or developing EO techniques are providing or could provide or supplement a more cost effective, and integrated approach to surveillance.
• Identify the barriers (technical, organisational or otherwise) to achieving the short, medium and long-term solutions, including needs for collaboration.
• Identify means of overcoming these barriers.
• Provide an overview of how other EU Member States use EO techniques for routine operational surveillance of biodiversity, drawing on the findings from other work, particularly the recent EU ENCA-Net/EBONE workshop (see http://www.ebone.wur.nl/UK/ ).
• Use this assessment of the actual and potential application of EO and geoinformatic approaches to provide the UK’s input into a GMES ‘use case’ for biodiversity.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Making EO work for UK biodiv. Final report PART A   (3515k)
• ANX - Annex : Making EO work for UK biodiv PART B   (4322k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2010

To: 2011

Cost: £39,850
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Environment Systems Ltd
Keywords
Biodiversity              
Environmental Protection              
Habitat conservation              
Nature conservation              
Fields of Study
Wildlife Conservation