SWOS Newsletter #1: ‘How Coordination of Data Can Help Protect the World’s Vanishing Wetlands ?’

SWOS Newsletter 

Issue no.1, August 2016

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In this issue


SWOS Project Overview

SWOS is a Horizon 2020 project funded by the European Commission to assist wetland practitioners (managers, policy-makers, scientists) with wetland monitoring and with reporting obligations for environmental policies at different scales. The project started officially on June 1st, 2015 for a period of three years. SWOS is a collaboration between 7 European countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.

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SWOS Products and Mapping Components

SWOS will deliver mapping products and indicators derived from Earth Observation data. Six main products will be prepared for service demonstration in sites covering more than 19 countries in 3 continents. The main targeted products are Inventory and delineation, Water Quality (short term status and trends), Land Use/Land Cover Mapping and changes, Surface temperature change, Soil moisture and Surface water dynamics. Some application examples can be seen online: monitoring long term changes of the Dead Sea water able, Monitoring of short term changes Azraq Oasis in Jordan, daily large scale monitoring in Greece, Monthly mean chlorophyll concentration in Camargue (France). Forfurther information, please check SWOS website.


SWOS active involvement in the 2016 Open Science Conference and All Hands Meeting of GEO BON

Between the 4th and 9th of July 2016, the SWOS project was actively involved in the developments of the Open Science Conference and All Hands Meeting of GEO BON that took place in Leipzig, Germany. Several SWOS partners were present in different sessions of the conference. The University of Bonn co-chaired a workshop centred around the development of a Global Wetlands Observing System (GWOS) while the project partners presented the relevant products including data, indicators, tools, and methodologies developed by SWOS that can be used to support the GWOS initiative, as well as a session on “Freshwater and wetland biodiversity monitoring and data mobilisation”. Further information is available on SWOS website.

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What are the applications for satellite-based wetland monitoring?

The growing user network of the SWOS project is now getting in touch with the Earth observation data opportunities and mapping tools designed and distributed within the SWOS activities. A number of workshops has been conducted to exchange user needs for frequent wetland monitoring resulting in a series of specific management solutions where satellite-based mapping products can foster wetland conservation and land management. Three examples are summarised at the SWOS website.

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Guidelines for the delimitation of wetland ecosystems

A global environmental monitoring system for wetland ecosystems is missing and thus only limited information and methods are available for effectively mapping and assessing the condition of wetland ecosystems worldwide. This case is also relevant in Europe especially in the case of wetland ecosystems that do not integrally fall under the scope of the Water Framework Directive. The SWOS project is designed to fill this need by setting a monitoring and an information service for wetland ecosystems. SWOS project has produced a set of guidelines for the delimitation of wetland ecosystems considering hydro-ecological setting and optional political instruments in place. The guidelines are published in the SWOS website and in the Biodiversity Information Base for Europe (BISE) platform.

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SWOS community engagement: First National User Training

The ETC-UMA team of SWOS organized and conducted the first national user training for thematic experts of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Environment and its river basin authorities on June 1st and 2nd, 2016, with the participation of the University of Bonn. This hands-on workshop is the first of a series of SWOS’ training activities that aim at capacity building of national user with regards to satellite-based wetland and environmental monitoring. Further information is available on SWOS website.

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SWOS at the ESA Living Planet Symposium, Prague 9-13 May 2016

The triannual Living Planet Symposium, which took place from 9th to 13th of May 2016 in Prague, was a good opportunity for the SWOS team to present its developments. The researchers presented the main concept and also the concrete outcomes of satellite-based wetland observation – an advanced way to follow the development of the world’s wetlands. Further information is available on SWOS website.


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Mapping 50 Ramsar Sites in Algeria: Example of a SWOS National Service Case

The General Directorate of Forests (DGF) of Algeria, in partnership with the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO), organised a 5-day workshop (17 to 21 April 2016 in Jijel, Algeria) to produce thematic maps on Land Use/Land Cover (LULC) and Surface Water Dynamics (SWD) for 50 Algerian Ramsar Sites, using the GlobWetland-II (GW-II) mapping approach that is currently under further development in the frame of the SWOS project. Further information is available on SWOS website.

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Stepping into the SWOS Portal: How Coordination of Data Can Help Protect the World’s Vanishing Wetlands

The ecosystem services provided by wetlands are numerous which range from freshwater supply and food production to water filtration and flood mitigation. Yet wetlands continue to face threats from pollution, drainage, and encroachment. Better data availability can help track these changes and allow decision-makers to better protect the resources. For further information please check earthzine website.

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SWOS User Requirements Workshop

SWOS held its user requirements workshop between 15-16 March 2016 in Ede, the Netherlands. The aim of the workshop was to engage the stakeholders to jointly develop the user requirements that the SWOS products should comply with in order to improve wetland monitoring and conservation needs. Stakeholders include policymakers, managers, and the scientific community, and representatives from national, regional, and local bodies. For further information, please check SWOS website.

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Upcoming Events

  • Society for Ecological Restoration Europe, 22-26 August 2016, Freising, Germany (link)
  • FOSS4G, 24-26 August 2016, Bonn- Germany (link)
  • EcoSummit 2016 (Ecological Sustainability: Engineering Change), 28-2-August/September 2016,  Montpellier, France (link)
  • IUCN World Conservation Congress,1-10-September 2016, Hawaii-US (link)
  • IWA Specialist Conference on Wetland Systems for Water Pollution Control, 4-9-September 2016,Gdańsk- Poland (link)
  • European Ecosystem Services Conference,19-23 September 2016, Antwerp-Belgium (link)
  • 10th INTECOL International Wetland Conference,19-24-September 2016, Changsh- China (link)

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“This projecthas receivedfunding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 642088. The contents of this newsletter are the sole responsibility of SWOS Consortium and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.”