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Framework for Satellite Remote Sensing Essential Biodiversity Variables

In a newly published article by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC), the researchers examine the concept of satellite remote sensing Essential Biodiversity Variables with their challenges and future directions.

To successfully prevent future biodiversity loss, swift progress on the way specialists track and report biodiversity changes is needed. Effective and continuous environmental monitoring is key to collect the knowledge and make decisions for prevention and mitigation actions.

The amount and type of Earth observation data collected by satellites is expected to steadily increase in the future. The concept that satellite-based variables are key components to a unified and global biodiversity monitoring strategy has gained traction in recent months.

The Group on Earth Observation – Biodiversity Observation Network was guided by the process of identifying Essential Climate Variables (ECV) and development of the Essential Biodiversity Variable (EBV) framework for biodiversity variables observable from space.

The list of EBVs (satellite remote sensing EBVs – SRS-EBV) that can be routinely monitored from space should be agreed by ecologists and space agencies.

Technological and algorithmic developments are rapidly expanding the set of opportunities for satellite remote sensing in monitoring biodiversity, and so the list of SRS-EBVs is likely to evolve over time. This means that a clear and common platform for data providers, ecologists and remote sensing experts to interact and share ideas needs to be identified to support long-term coordinated actions.

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Source JRC and