The Green Lung by Terrasigna – from nature to people

This article was first published on Terrasigna’s website in June 2017.

Reality
Life is about people, nature and the surrounding environment. Nature is defined by rich biodiversity, if taken care of it. April 2017 has marked 25 years of EU supporting nature, environment and climate change through LIFE Programme, while the 5th of every June celebrates the World Environment Day. Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern.

The theme for 2017 is connecting people to nature.
Without nature our life is not possible, and sometimes we forget these basic principles. Even more, we don’t recognize all the goods and services natural ecosystems provide us. From food, clean water, and flood protection to cultural heritage and a sense of a place in the world, ecosystems provide essential benefits to us all. Forests, as well as trees in general, and other wooden lands play a significant role in these ecosystem services.

They fulfill multiple functions for society, providing economic, social, and environmental benefits, including serving as a key reservoir of biodiversity, with the greatest assemblage of species found in any terrestrial ecosystem.

However, this valuable natural capital remains under threat, mainly due to human activity. Biodiversity is disappearing rapidly, ecosystems are constantly degrading and their capacity to provide services is compromised. The social and economic costs associated with are often invisible.

The main reason is that the value of natural capital is not measured, and therefore not valued. How can we help?
Land monitoring technologies using data collected through the Sentinels satellite offer valuable information about the nature condition. It provides useful tools for monitoring and assessing the natural resources, and plays an important role in mitigating climate changes impact.

You cannot manage what you don’t measure!

We are pleased to introduce you The Green Lung – an innovative EO service from TERRASIGNA .

“The Green Lung is a wooden vegetation map that measures at national scale the woodlands areas. It identifies and measures forests areas (deciduous and coniferous), but also trees alongside roads or rivers, city park trees, perennial bushes zones, clusters of junipers, orchards of fruit trees etc.”

The service is a novelty in the market, as the woodlands vegetation are measured for the first time from a botanical perspective (as opposed to the administrative one), source of rich and diverse information.

The quantified hectares of woodlands areas are providing valuable data, gathered over one-year period of time. All the phenological stages of vegetation are covered, as well as the complete cycle of seasonal weather changes.

terrasigna Green lung

“The Green Lung in action presents above map of Romanian woodland vegetation – total measured of 7,48 millions hectares. The service has identified Caras-Severin, Suceava and Hunedoara counties as the largest wooden areas. Inside detailed measurements can be done at regional, county or other distribution type levels.”

Benefits from monitoring & assessment:

  • provides vital information about the wood mass energy;
  • supports biodiversity conservation in forests and woodlands;
  • contribution to healthy forest ecosystems;
  • management support for forests and woodlands conservation.

The Green Lung service is using Sentinel2 mutispectral optical imagery and big data processing algorithms, developed in-house. The map accuracy was measured to be over 95%, and the production technology benefits from the company’s expertise and its distinctive capabilities in EO data processing.

TERRASIGNA is Romanian rooted company, with locally developed competences, validated and appreciated by reputable international partners – European Space Agency, NASA, World Bank, German Aerospace Center, etc.
Forests ecosystems are part of our cultural and historical heritage, and wooded lands represents a privileged place for outdoors recreation and leisure.
Can we put a monetary value on hearing birds singing or seeing breath-taking landscapes? Probably, not.
But can we measure the natural capital and the impact of actions to limit its loss? Certainly, yes.