Exploring the Role of Remote Sensing in Biodiversity Conservation at the United Nations Biodiversity Summit
The United Nations Biodiversity Summit, also known as COP 15, was held in Canada in December 2022. The summit brought together representatives from over 196 countries to discuss and negotiate action plans for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. One key focus of the summit was the use of satellite data to better understand and protect biodiversity on a global scale.
Space for Biodiversity
Satellite data has become an increasingly important tool for biodiversity conservation and management. It allows scientists and policymakers to monitor and track changes in the Earth’s ecosystems, including the distribution and health of plant and animal species. Satellite data can also be used to identify areas of high conservation value, such as forests or wetlands, and to monitor the impacts of human activities, such as deforestation or pollution.
At the United Nations Biodiversity Summit, participants discussed the potential of satellite data to support the implementation of the United Nations’ Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, which aims to protect and restore the world’s ecosystems. This includes the use of satellite data to track progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, which are a set of global goals for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
One specific example of how satellite data is being used to support biodiversity conservation is through the use of remote sensing to map and monitor forests. Forest ecosystems are vital for the survival of many species, as well as for the regulation of the Earth’s climate. Satellite data can be used to monitor the extent and health of forests, as well as to detect illegal logging or deforestation. This information can then be used to inform conservation and management strategies, such as the development of protected areas or the implementation of sustainable forestry practices.
In addition to its use in conservation, satellite data can also support the sustainable use of biodiversity. For example, satellite data can be used to monitor the health and productivity of agricultural lands, which can help to optimize crop yields and reduce the need for chemical inputs. This can help to reduce the negative impacts of agriculture on biodiversity and the environment, while also supporting the livelihoods of local communities.
The United Nations Biodiversity Summit demonstrated the importance of satellite data in supporting the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. By using this powerful tool, we can better understand and protect the Earth’s ecosystems and the species that depend on them.
EU Funding Opportunities
The European Union has funding opportunities in place to explore the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity with its Horizon Europe program. Horizon Europe is a research and innovation funding program. It aims to support research and innovation projects that address some of the most pressing challenges facing society, including the protection and sustainable use of biodiversity.
There are a number of opportunities that Horizon Europe can bring to support biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. Some examples of these opportunities include:
- Funding for research and innovation projects: Horizon Europe provides funding for research and innovation projects that address key challenges related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. This can include projects that develop new technologies, tools, or approaches for monitoring and protecting biodiversity, or that explore the economic and social value of biodiversity.
- Networking and collaboration: Horizon Europe supports the creation of networks and partnerships between researchers, innovators, and other stakeholders, including policymakers, industry, and civil society organizations. These networks and partnerships can help to bring together diverse expertise and perspectives to address complex challenges related to biodiversity.
- Dissemination and uptake: Horizon Europe supports the dissemination and uptake of research and innovation outcomes, including through the development of knowledge-sharing platforms and the engagement of stakeholders. This can help to ensure that the results of Horizon 2020 projects are widely available and can be used to inform policy and practice in the area of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use.
- Impact and legacy: Horizon Europe aims to support projects that have the potential to deliver significant impact and legacy, including through the development of new products, services, or policies that can contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Horizon Europe provides a range of opportunities for supporting biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, through funding, networking, dissemination, and impact. A good example of such a project is Nature FIRST in which Data and technologies for the inventory, fast identification and monitoring of endangered wildlife and other species are being used.
Featured Image: UN Biodiversity/Flickr.