France: ESA launched the GlobWetland II project as a Global Wetlands Observing System (GWOS) regional pilot project in the southern Mediterranean basin. The project’s principal objective was to develop a software – or ‘toolbox’ – that can be used by all Ramsar Parties to assess and monitor their wetlands with satellite images.
Over 2000 wetland-related maps and indicators have been produced by the project on 200 wetland sites and surrounding areas of the Southern Mediterranean basin, extending from Morocco to Syria.
The GlobWetland II toolbox and database have already been installed in five of the project’s ten countries, with dedicated training sessions in Jordan (with the participation of Libya and Lebanon), Algeria and Tunisia.
At the 11th Conference of the Parties (COP-11) of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, ESA organised a side event to present the GW-II toolbox and products, and to show how their use is being extended to other wetlands in the Mediterranean basin by the Tour du Valat wetlands research centre, host of the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory.
Participants at the side event acknowledged the ESA’s efforts and resources in promoting and demonstrating the benefits of earth observation technology for the Ramsar Convention, and in developing a toolbox that can be used by the Contracting Parties.
In the recent years, the use of satellite earth observations with innovative geospatial analysis has proved to be a key tool and unique information source to support the environmental community in different application domains, including wetlands conservation and management.