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Biodiversity in Danger: Which Areas Should Be Protected? New Digital Observatory Helps to Set Priorities

WASHINGTON BRUSSELS Feb. 18, 2011 Nagoya October 2010

DOPA is conceived as a set of distributed databases and open, interoperable web services to provide decision-makers and researchers with a means to assess, monitor and forecast the state of, and pressure on, protected areas on a global scale. It should help them prioritise and support them in decision-making and fund allocation processes. DOPA’s modelling capabilities and global coverage will also enable to go beyond existing boundaries of protected areas to address anthropogenic pressures on ecosystems, as well as identifying ecological corridors and new areas to be protected.

DOPA is being developed in collaboration with other major organisations including the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC), Birdlife International and the UK Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).  

The Observatory minimises exposure to the risks from mixing undocumented data with undocumented uncertainties and connecting scientific findings from the field with environmental observations from space.

Nagoya

Effective protected area management deals with complex links between environmental and anthropogenic factors, calling for information gathered from many disciplines. The information needed ranges from molecular to global scales and over time periods of hours to centuries. This multidisciplinary aspect also means that large volumes of data have been collected and maintained independently, with related models having also been developed and operated in isolation.

In DOPA, data on protected areas, species distributions and socio-economic indicators are combined with the JRC’s remote sensing information in order to generate global environmental indicators, maps and alerts. However, what looks in principle like a simple data exchange, becomes extremely complex in the absence of syntactic and semantic interoperability of the data and the systems serving them.

Hence, beyond the simple sharing and exchange of information, DOPA relies on open-ended systems of interoperable computer models and databases communicating via Service Oriented Architectures (SOA), a design that is becoming the cornerstone of all modern integrated assessments and is recommended by the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) – a voluntary partnership of governments and international organisations, which coordinates efforts to build a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

Nagoya

th Nagoya

Our needs for agriculture, fishing, housing, energy and water, combined with the pollution of vast areas of land and ocean and an insatiable demand for resources, are putting relentlessly increasing pressure on the natural environment.

Protected areas are a vital part of mankind’s attempts to preserve the diversity of life on earth. The Nagoya Strategic Plan sets stringent new targets for the 193 countries that have signed up: by 2020, at least 17% of terrestrial and inland water will have to be protected and the surface of protected coastal and marine areas will have to almost double.

March 2010

http://dopa.jrc.ec.europa.eu/

AAAS session

Data Cocktails for Biodiversity: Protected Area Management Without the Hangover

Friday, February 18, 2011 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

Speakers:

Gary Geller

Parks from Space: The Big Picture and New Indicators Help Manage Protected Areas

Shawn Carter

Data Cocktails for Biodiversity: Protected Area Management Without the Hangover

Alan Belward

Digital Observatory for Protected Areas: Helping Earth’s Beleaguered Biodiversity

the United States

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