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Value of satellites recognized for conserving wetlands
Date:11/14/2008

Wetlands contribute to our lives in remarkable ways by providing food and water, controlling floods, protecting against storms and supporting biodiversity, yet they are experiencing loss and degradation on a massive scale.

Wetlands are areas that are covered with water for long enough periods to support plants that thrive in wet soils, so they are not all wet year-round. The areas include marshes, swamps, bogs and wet meadows.

Countering their loss requires baseline information on wetland resources and effective monitoring programmes, but because they are often made up of complex and impenetrable terrain monitoring them is very difficult.

In this context ESA carried out the GlobWetland project from 2003 to 2008 in order to demonstrate how employing satellite data can support the inventorying, monitoring and assessing of wetland ecosystems. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Ramsar Convention an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.

ESA recently presented the results and findings of GlobWetland with a side event at the main policy-making forum of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP 10).

The COP 10, held in Changwon, Republic of Korea, from 28 October to 4 November 2008, addressed the importance of further developing and intensifying internationally coordinated actions for the conservation of wetlands. More than two thousand wetland specialists from around the world attended the Conference entitled 'Healthy Wetlands, Healthy People'.

During the COP 10, Ramsar adopted 33 resolutions, which includes the Strategic Plan that specifies measures to implement the international treaty for wetlands conservation from 2009 to 2014, and the 'Changwon Declaration on human well-being and wetlands'.

At its side event, ESA announced it will initiate a follow-on GlobWetland project, planned for
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Contact: Mariangela D'Acunto
mariangela.dacunto@esa.int
39-069-418-0856
European Space Agency
Source:Eurekalert

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