The biodiversity community still lacks a global observing system for biodiversity monitoring. Such a gap is worrying, as operational observing systems are key to coordinating globally consistent data collection across all dimensions of biodiversity. Therefore there is an urgent need from the remote sensing community to feed information towards EBVs (Essential Biodiversity Variables) to fill the spatial and temporal gaps in between in-situ biodiversity observation data from the field.

The biodiversity pilot has two targets. The first target is focusing on creating the biodiversity GEOhub. Importantly the GEOhub will offer sustainability beyond the project lifetime by embedding the biodiversity GEOhub with the GEO Global Initiative GEO-BON. The need for remote sensing for global EBVs is to fill the spatial and temporal gaps between in situ observation biodiversity data. Several steps remain in order to actualize the acquisition of the observations needed for these remote sensing EBVs. GEO, through its Global Initiative GEO BON, proposes to act as a hub to facilitate iterative discussion between space agencies (via CEOS) and key policy bodies (CBD, IPBES).

The second target concerns demonstrating the use of high resolution RS-enabled EBVs for habitat monitoring in order to support amongst others the European Environment Agency (EEA) and European Topic Centre Biological Diversity (ETC/BD). These organisations have special responsibilities with regard to European habitats, with specific emphasis on the reporting obligations towards to the Birds and Habitat Directives. The spatial identification of European habitats and related changes are a difficult task, and much effort is nowadays being put in the spatial identification of EUNIS habitat types. Remote sensing data could play a much larger role than it has now, and a good integration of the large amount of in-situ field observations (vegetation plots) with high resolution RS-enabled EBVs will be key. The integration of high resolution RS-EBVs will be demonstrated for forest and heathland habitats.

Spatial Extent

Map tiles by Stamen Design, under CC BY 3.0. Data by OpenStreetMap, under CC BY SA.

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Pilot Metadata

Coordinate Reference System ETRS89 / ETRS-LAEA
Language English
Legal Constraints The pilot can be used free of charge. If the results are used in publications or other Web sites, we request you to mention WENR and ITC as provider of data which you used.
Purpose This task is focused on creating the biodiversity GEOhub for RS-EBV’s which will support the GEOSS European Hub and provide full interoperability of biodiversity data. It will demonstrate the use of RS-EBVs for habitat monitoring by spatial modelling of EUNIS habitats (maps with spatial distribution of habitats).Several RS-EBVs are anticipated to be derived from satellite remote sensing. Focus will be on supporting a biodiversity GEOhub and modelling the spatial distribution of European habitats in the cloud through an interactive web interface, which will serve the various biodiversity communities (not only GEO-BON, CBD and IPBES, EEA, ETC/BD, and many smaller organisations interested in biodiversity.
Update Frequency annually
Pilot Validity Period 01 January, 1980 TO 31 December, 2018
Contact e-mail sander[dot]mucher[at]wur[dot]nl
individualName Sander Mucher
organisationName Wageningen Environmental Research