Top menu

What do conservation practitioners want from remote sensing?

The data collected by earth observation remote sensing is a powerful tool for conservation and in such a rapidly changing field, it is essential that conservationists working with satellite imagery and the experts behind it work together to make the most of the technology and convert the results into action for conservation.

The Shared Challenges Programme ran series of five ‘user discussion groups’ within the CCI partners in early 2010 to identify the actual needs and desires from the users of remote sensing data within conservation organisations. The final workshop in the series in March 2011 brought together conservation practitioners and technical experts from a range of organizations including NASA and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) with those from 11 CCI partners to discuss the latest developments in remote sensing technology how they could be applied to conservation.

Project Aims

This project aims identify the information that conservation practitioners actually need from earth observation remote sensing data, and, importantly, to increase collaboration between conservation community ‘users’ and the technical experts. It will also raise awareness across conservation organisations and researchers of the potential for remote sensing to inform their work.

Key Activities

Five workshops held in early 2010 to identify the needs of people who use of remote sensing data from within the CCI partners. These ‘user needs’ workshops brought together 75 people and were held in:

  • RSPB (18th January)
  • UNEP-WCMC (1st February)
  • BTO (1st February)
  • BirdLife International (11th February)
  • FFI (15th February)

On the 31st March 2011, the final workshop in the series brought together conservation practitioners and technical experts from a range of organizations including NASA and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) with those from 11 CCI partners to discuss new developments in remote sensing techniques and how these could be applied to conservation.

Conservation Impact

This work raised the profile of CCI organisations involvement in remote sensing for conservation, strengthened existing collaborations and built new partnerships between remote sensing ‘users’ and ‘providers’, as well as identifying the need for both sides to communicate more. It helped raise awareness across CCI of the value of remote sensing to conservation; and should ultimately increase the contribution that remote sensing makes to the work that CCI does and help to fully realise its potential for conservation. It was agreed that continuing two-way discussions like this is essential, and a multi author comment paper is being drafted which will both strengthen existing collaborations and build new partnerships.

Outputs

  1. CCI report: 'What do conservationists want from remote sensing' bringing together the main conclusions from the five user needs workshops was circulated to CCI partners.

CCI partners Involved

BirdLife International is a strategic global partnership of conservation organisations in over 100 countries, working to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, and to promote...
The Department of Zoology carries out wide-ranging work in ecology and conservation including conservation science, aquatic ecology, pathogen evolution and evolutionary ecology. Research of the...
The Department of Geography's research clusters focus on society and environment, development and political ecology, culture and demography, environmental processes, landscape modelling and climate...
The Department of Plant Sciences' research spans plant and microbial sciences. Conservation-related work in the department includes forest ecology and conservation, tropical ecology, mathematical...
IUCN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, is the world's oldest and largest global environmental network. It helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment...
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. It is the largest wildlife conservation organisation in...
The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is the specialist biodiversity assessment arm of the United Nations Environment Programme, the world’s foremost intergovernmental...
Fauna & Flora International (FFI) acts to conserve threatened species and ecosystems worldwide, delivering global and regional programmes of conservation and community projects.
British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) is an independent scientific research trust specialising in impartial evidence-based knowledge and advice about populations, movements and ecology of birds and...

Other Organisations Involved

  • The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH)
  • JRC (the Joint Research Centre, European Commission)
  • Kings College, London
  • Leeds University
  • NASA Headquarters, the Science Mission Directorate
  • Specto Natura
  • Stanford University
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Louvain, Belgium
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Wageningen
  • WWF-Germany

Related Resources

Resource Title Description Type
 CCI Report: What do conservation practitioners want from remote sensing? CCI Report: What do conservation practitioners want from remote sensing? This report identifies the kind of information that conservation practitioners need from earth observation remote sensing data, their general concerns about how remote sensing can be apllied to... Working papers and reports