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Earth Observation for Biodiversity Surveillance: Phase II Pathfinder Project. - WC1013

Effective and efficient supply of information on extent, location and condition of semi-natural habitats across the UK is essential to meet UK and country reporting obligations and commitments. These include the legislative obligations included in the EC Habitats Directive, as well as domestic commitments to monitor status and condition of priority habitats or provide audits of ecosystem function and service provision .
Recent reviews of the adequacy of biodiversity surveillance to meet the needs of key legislative drivers have identified information gaps on stock, change and condition of higher thematic resolution habitats (corresponding to BAP Priority Habitat or EC Habitats Directive Annex I type) particularly outside the statutory site series .
The bodies with responsibility for habitat monitoring in the UK – the various country agencies - need to improve surveillance capacity within existing resource constraints. The outputs from this project will be used to identify how EO and geoinformatics may be used to complement field based techniques to improve surveillance capacity.
The project outlined in this specification will review and expand on outputs from a phase 1 scoping study . It will develop and test possible approaches to assessing the stock and/or condition of semi-natural habitats and ecosystem services or to improve our capacity to do so in the future, based on the pathfinder projects set out in the phase 1 report.
Using the Crick Framework to identify priorities, this project will develop, support, produce or improve operational EO techniques to identify and monitor habitats. We are interested in good principles for combining spatial data from different sources, so all work described here should be viewed in that context.

The project will accelerate the introduction of EO methods for the mapping of extent and condition of Tier 2 and 3 habitats (or of other attributes related to delivery of ecosystem services). The project should consist of at least 4 work packages, which can run in sequence or in parallel:
1. Review of Crick Framework content
2. Expansion of Crick Framework to cover habitat condition/other habitat attributes
3. Implementation and evaluation of pilot projects to develop new techniques for assessing extent and/or condition of tier 2 and 3 habitats
4. Communication and outreach
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2011

To: 2013

Cost: £129,400
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Environment Systems Ltd