Earth Observation for Wetlands

Azraq Oasis, Jordan from Space, Copernicus Sentinel 2 data, 2016-01-14

The Satellite-based Wetland Observation Service (SWOS) generates information on wetland ecosystems using the possibilities offered by freely available satellite data. It provides a user-friendly wetland monitoring and information service developed with and for user.

Wetlands are critical for human health and well-being and are hotspots of biodiversity. They are also one of the fastest declining ecosystems worldwide. The threats against them continue to mount. An increase in the conversion of natural areas to urban and agricultural areas, infrastructure development, water diversion and pollution of air and water are some of the main factors causing their degradation and loss.

Information on the location of wetlands, their ecological character and the services they give people (such as water sources, sources of food, storage of carbon and buffering or mitigating disaster risks) is often sparse and difficult to find or access. The result is a limited coverage of wetlands in policies and management practices.

 

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