SWOS Newsletter #3: Assessing and mapping wetland ecosystem condition and services

SWOS Newsletter
Issue no.3, September 2017

In this issue


Assessing and mapping wetland ecosystem condition and services
More than 80 experts including representatives of different units of DG Environment, regional stakeholders and Member State representatives met on 27-28 June 2017 in Brussels for the Mapping and Assessing Ecosystems and their Services (MAES) workshop organized by the European Commission, the European Environment Agency, the Joint Research Centre, the European Topic Centre for Biodiversity and the European Topic Centre on Urban Land Use Systems. SWOS project was represented by the European Topic Centre-University of Málaga where the  research results on the usability of the indicators produced by the project to assess and monitor in particular wetlands’ ecosystem condition and their capacity to provide services were highlighted. This work was discussed among participants; particularly the prioritization of data and indicators, agreements on gaps and opportunities and next stages to consolidate these developments.  Further information is available on SWOS website.
European Earth observation satellites observe forest fire in Doñana National Park in Spain
On 25th of June 2017 a huge forest fire entered Doñana National Park, one of Spain’s most important nature reserves, a tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1994. The Doñana wetlands consist of marshes, shallow streams, and sand dunes in the Las Marismas, the Guadalquivir River delta. The protected area is a biodiversity hot spot and the fire occurred in the southern part of the park. A European satellite, as used for the SWOS services, observed the spatial expansion of the forest fire. Further information is available on the SWOS website.
Photo Credits: Before Google Eath Engine, S-2, RGB: 8A-11-12 After Google Earth Engine, S-2, RGB: 8A-11-12
Maghreb and West African countries prepared to apply SWOS products and services
Tour du ValatEMWIS and Wetlands International jointly organised a 3 days training session in Rabat Morocco from 22 to 24 May 2017. The purpose was to train French speaking users coming mainly from Maghreb and West African countries in how to use earth observation data for wetland and water monitoring, based on the products developed by SWOS project. 14 users from 5 countries – Algeria, Mali, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia – took part in the training. They were representing the General Directorates for forest from Algeria and Tunisia, the Tunisian NGO for nature conservation ATPNE-Korba (Association Tunisienne pour la Protection de la Nature et de l’Environnement de Korba), the river basin organisations of Oued Sebou (Morocco) and Algerois (Algeria), Wetlands International regional offices from Mali and Senegal, the Scientific Association For Water Information System (SAWIS), the Regional Africa Center on Space science and technologies (CRASTE-LF) and Senegal River Basin Organisation (OMVS). Further information is available on SWOS website.
Developing user-friendly tools for wetland monitoring and conservation during the SWOS technical readiness workshop
The SWOS project is fostering the development of innovative services for an integrated wetland management using up to date Earth observation data. An important milestone towards the development of the services (such as maps and indicators production, software delivery, capacity building and geoportal and environmental data brokerage) could be reached during the SWOS Technical Readiness Workshop held from May 29 to June 02 on the Vilm Island at the Baltic Sea in Germany. Further information is available on SWOS website.
SWOS at the annual meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists – European Chapter
During May 4th – 7th, the University of Algarve, Portugal, hosted the 12th annual conference of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS), European Chapter. The meeting brought together scientists and managers connected to wetlands from different disciplines; from wetland restoration and constructed wetlands to paludiculture, water quality, and, of course, remote sensing. The University of Bonn represented SWOS at the meeting and presented the work the project is doing in Kilombero, Tanzania, along with an overview of other satellite derived products. The presentation showed how automatic global classifications cannot detect farm encroachment in some wetlands, and how this gap in knowledge has been filled by SWOS user-tailored solutions. The presentation was well received by other scientists who will benefit from long records of satellite derived products to strengthen, extrapolate, or cross-validate their results. Further information is available on SWOS website.
SWOS builds capacities of wetland monitoring for wetland managers and environmental agencies in Western Balkan
As part of the SWOS capacity building activities, the two partners Tour du Valat and ETC-UMA jointly organised the first training for users from West-Balkan countries. A total number of 10 users from 4 countries gathered in Podgorica (Montenegro) at the shore of Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the region and one of Europe’s most important wetlands. The users included representatives from the Albanian Ministry of Environment and its Agency for Nature Protection, as well of the Regional Administration of Protected Areas Shkodër, the Public Enterprise for National Parks in Montenegro, the Nature Park of Lonjsko Polje (Croatia) and the Institute for Nature Conservation of the Vojvodina province (Serbia). Further information is available on SWOS website.

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 (status and trends), Land Use/Land Cover Mapping and changes, Land Surface Temperature change, Soil moisture and Surface Water Dynamics. Some examples of applications can be viewed online:

  • Monitoring of long term changes of the Dead Sea water table;
  • Monitoring of short term changes of wetland characteristics at Azraq Oasis in Jordan;
  • Daily large scale monitoring of NDVI-greenness in Greece; and
  • Monitoring of changes in mean chlorophyll concentration in the Camargue region in France.

For further information, please check SWOS website and the SWOS portal.

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Upcoming Events

  • September 26-28th 2017; Renewable Resources from Wet and Rewetted Peatlands; Greifswald Mire Centre; Greifswald, Germany (link)
  • October 23-27th, 2017, GEO-XIV Plenary, Washington DC (link)
  • October 23-28th 2017, Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) COP 12, Manila- the Philippines (link)
  • November 2-4th 2017; 6th International Symposium for Research in Protected Areas; University of Salzburg, Austria (link)
  • November 6-17th 2017; UNFCC COP 23; Bonn, Germany (link)
  • November 27-28th 2017; World Forum on Natural Capital; Edinburgh, Scotland (link)
  • December 11-14th 2017; BES, GFO, NECOV and EEF Joint Annual Meeting: Ecology Across Borders; ICC Ghent, Belgium (link)
  • December 19-20th 2017, Global Landscape Forum; Bonn, Germany (link)
Kathrin Weise | Jena-Optronik GmbH, Otto-Eppenstein-Str. 3, 07745 Jena | Phone +49 3641 200160| Fax +49 3641 200220 | email kathrin.weise@jena-optronik.de www.swos-service.eu