The Biodiversity pilot will demonstrate the value of a European data hub for the creation of RS-EBVs (Essential Biodiversity Variables), which leads to creating a GEO hub for EBVs by linking the key policy/user network groups (GEO-BON, CBD and IPBES) with the space agencies (via CEOS). Secondly, it demonstrates the use of the European data hub in terms high-resolution RS-EBVs for habitat monitoring in order to support the European Environment Agency (EEA) and its Topic Centre for Biological Diversity (ETC-BD). The integration with in-situ vegetation relévés will play an important role here.
- Focus on creating the biodiversity GEO hub: Importantly, the GEOhub will offer sustainability beyond the project lifetime by embedding the biodiversity GEOhub with the GEO Global Initiative GEO-BON. The need for remote sensing for global EBVs is to fill the spatial and temporal gaps between in situ observation biodiversity data. Several steps remain in order to actualize the acquisition of the observations needed for these remote sensing EBVs. GEO, through its Global Initiative GEO BON, proposes to act as a hub to facilitate iterative discussion between space agencies (via CEOS) and key policy bodies (CBD, IPBES).
- Demonstrating the use of high-resolution RS-EBVs for habitat monitoring: It demonstrates the use of high-resolution RS-EBVs for habitat monitoring in order to support among others the EEA and ETC/BD. These organisations have special responsibilities with regard to European habitats, with specific emphasis on the reporting obligations towards the Birds and Habitat Directives. The spatial identification of European habitats and related changes are a difficult task, and much effort is nowadays being put in the spatial identification of EUNIS habitat types. Remote sensing data could play a much larger role than it has now, and good integration of the large amount of in-situ field observations (vegetation plots) with high-resolution RS-EBVs is key. The integration of high-resolution RS-EBVs is demonstrated for forest and heathland habitats.