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UN Convention of Biological Diversity

Taking on biodiversity loss, Earth Observation is paramount, UN says

(4 June 2008). With the world’s population growing and biodiversity diminishing, Earth Observation data is becoming an increasingly important tool for achieving sustainable development.

Meeting in Bonn, the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations’ Convention of Biological Diversity (UNCBD) has underlined the importance of Earth Observation satellites, such as Europe’s GMES initiative, as a means to facilitating conservation of biological diversity and sustainable development. Earth Observation data may be used for the monitoring of selected headline indicators of biodiversity loss, such as the extent of global drylands, amongst other applications.

In Bonn, a consensus emerged amongst the 7000 participants at the COP conference, who come from some 191 countries, about importance of land-cover mapping springing from Earth Observation when dealing with the issue of biodiversity.

Contact: DG ENTR, Space Research and Development Unit –

See also: ESA Official Website