The first workshop of the GlobWetland II project took place at the ESRIN premises of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Frascati nearby Rome from the 13th to the 16th December 2010. The GlobWetland II project contributes to the set up of a Global Wetlands Observing System (G-WOS) as per strategy 1.2 of the Ramsar Strategic Plan 2009-2015 adopted at the last Conference of Parties, in Changwon, South Korea.
The use of Earth Observation (EO) applications in combination with innovative geo-spatial analysis has become an important information source which has great applicability to the analysis of all kinds of environmental phenomena and issues including wetland conservation and management. EO technology provides a relatively quick and cost effective method to obtain suitable information to support the mapping and inventory of wetlands as a basis for management oriented assessment and monitoring.
The GlobWetland I project, which ran from 2003 to 2008, is a predecessor of the GlobWetland II project and proved how effective EO technology can be in wetland protection and conservation and its many uses in assisting the mandate of the Ramsar Convention. The objectives of the GlobWetland II project are to develop a G-WOS pilot information system which will consist of maps and system software. The system software will have three components, a remote sensing component (satellite image pre-processing, land use/land cover classification, change detection etc), a GIS component and a Web-GIS component for the permanent access to the maps and information data that have been produced during the live time of the project or provided by users and partners.
The GlobWetland II project will develop the G-WOS pilot project through a partnership with the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO) a joint MedWet/ Tour Du Valat Initiative, with the Ramsar Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP), with the Ramsar National Focal Points (NFP) and supporting conservation agencies of the countries involved in the project. Detailed information on the project design, objectives, partners and progress can be found on the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory website.
The first workshop brought together the GlobWetland II National Experts, users and partners. It saw the attendance of four user countries, Libya, Morocco, Algeria and the Palestinian Authority, environmental organizations and institutions like Wetlands International, MedWet, Ramsar and the European Environment Agency. Also present were the GW-II Consortium built around six contractors JENOPTIK and DLR DFD in Germany, KEYOBS and I-MAGE CONSULT in Belgium, EKBY in Greece, TerraSphere in Holland.
The workshop gave the opportunity to member organizations to present their activities and to user countries to present the types and state of their national wetlands. MedWet was represented by Lily Mordechai, Communication Officer who gave a presentation on the Institutional framework of the Mediterranean Wetlands Observatory (MWO) as well as the contributions and expectations MedWet and MWO have of the GlobWetland II project. A more technical presentation
on the cooperation between GlobWetland II and the MWO was given by Coralie Beltram from the MWO. Concerning GlobWetland II, the workshop allowed a discussion with all partners on the design of the GW-II system which is very important for the further development of the G-WOS pilot. It was centred on the types of satellite images to be used, the Land Cover/Land Use legend, wetland delineation and location, buffer zone placement, presentation of the first mapping results and transfer of local/ground knowledge to the analysts. For more information on this project please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The GlobWetland II project will last 2 years and will be completed at the fall of 2011 in order to present the outcomes at the next Ramsar Conference of the Parties (COP-11) that is currently scheduled to take place in the beginning of 2012. Overall, the successful completion of the GlobWetland II project will provide a major tool to MedWet, the Ramsar Convention and other organizations in improving scientific knowledge on wetlands and providing evidence based arguments to decisions makers in order to to improve the consrvation status and wise use of Mediterranean wetlands.