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Earth observation highlighted at UN biological diversity conference
Date:6/3/2008

use of satellite data is very difficult. The project produces land-use cover and change detection maps for use by wetland managers and policymakers. ESA EO data has considerable power and potential in providing the intelligence behind making sound decisions on management and policy."

Also speaking at the event, UNESCO's Mario Hernandez outlined joint programmes undertaken by UNESCO and ESA, including mapping World Heritage sites such as in ESA's Diversity project and gorilla natural-habitat monitoring. The Diversity project, which kicked-off last year, aims to contribute to the monitoring efforts that will help the UNCBD determine whether progress is being made in reducing biodiversity loss and provide insight into which policy measures are proving most effective. For example, the Diversity project has demonstrated the use of EO data for monitoring selected headline indicators of biodiversity loss such as trends in the extent of global drylands.

Lcio de Rosrio from the Portuguese National Focal Point Assistant for the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD also spoke at the event and presented DesertWatch, a joint UNCCD-ESA programme designed to assist parties with implementation.

The importance of land-cover mapping was very evident at the meeting and was included as being an important tool by many of the speakers. In particular, Martin Herold from Global Observation for Forest and Land Cover Dynamics expressed the potential for satellite observations for the post-2012 negotiations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and for driving national observation progress for forests.

From an economic perspective, Jean-Louis Weber from the European Environment Agency (EEA) provided insight into a less obvious way in which EO data is helping measure how the loss of biodiversity is affecting our quality of life in terms of wealth. The current thinking is that when calculating a country's gross domestic product, a mo
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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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