Multi-scale Service for Monitoring NATURA 2000 Habitats of European Community Interest
The EU Habitats Directive (council directive 92/43/ECC) requires a standardised monitoring of the habitat types and a reporting every six years. For this reason, an operational, objective, economically priced and as far as possible automated application is required. The rapidly developing remote sensing sensor technique and also new image processing methods offer new possibilities to apply remote sensing data for NATURA 2000 monitoring. Today, with (i) GMES as an umbrella for utilizing latest EO-based achievements form both space- and in-situ sensors to provide European solutions for global problems of the environment-security-nexus, (ii) INSPIRE as a pan-European endeavor of obeying standards and other prerequisites of interoperable use, and (iii) the vision of a unified and integrated (i.e. single) European Information Space (SEIS), set the stage for a technologically mature, integrated, and user-centric system, more effectively to be used than ever. Users are in need, as imposed by the legally binding character of the directives, and this is what this project will service, from European to local scale.
MS.MONINA follows a pan-European, multi-scale approach that on the one hand reflects the specifics and the variety of habitats in the different biogeographical regions, and on the other hand guides the specifications of the service chains and their implementations as service cases and pilots. The multi-scale (MS) concept reflects the fact that on different (administrative) levels there are specific requirements for sensitive sites-related reporting, monitoring, management etc.
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
€ 384 056
Stefan Lang (Dr.)
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Grant agreement ID: 263479
1 December 2010
30 November 2013
€ 2 528 215,70
€ 1 963 037,20
This project is featured in...
Satellites protect European biodiversity
Grant agreement ID: 263479
1 December 2010
30 November 2013
€ 2 528 215,70
€ 1 963 037,20
This project is featured in...
Final Report Summary - MS.MONINA (Multi-scale Service for Monitoring NATURA 2000 Habitats of European Community Interest)
Continuous effort is needed to counteract the steady loss of biodiversity worldwide. Ambitious goals, to be attained by 2020, are set by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). At the European Union level, the European Biodiversity Strategy states as first goal the full implementation of its biodiversity related directives, with clear and measurable targets to be attained by 2020. To measure the progress made, monitoring is indispensable. However, the area to be covered is huge, making monitoring by field-based methods labour intensive and excessively expensive. Therefore, biodiversity monitoring by remote sensing is increasingly gaining attention from policy makers as a cost-efficient alternative. The EU Habitats Directive (HabDir, council directive 92/43/EEC) is the European answer to the CBD. HabDir is one of the world‘s most effective legal instruments concerning biodiversity and nature conservation and a success story among pan-European initiatives. MS.MONINA develops an objective operational, yet economically priced solution fostering the use of Copernicus space and in-situ infrastructure and advanced EO-based analysis and modelling tools, specifically tailored to user requirements in terms of relevance, level-of-detail and scale, steadiness and reliability, uptake and fitness to existing workflows.
MS.MONINA follows a pan-European, multi-scale approach on different levels reflecting the specificity and the variety of habitats in the different biogeographical regions. Three (sub-)services are offered, reflecting these levels of operation, i.e. MS.MONINA EU, MS.MONINA State, and MS.MONINA Site. Each of the service developments follows the same overall logic in three steps (service specification, service implementation, and evolution), but tailored to the (user-) and technical requirements that are specific for each service level. MS.MONINA thereby addresses: (1) agencies on EU level, i.e. ETC Biodiversity, the EEA and DG Environment, in their reporting requirements to CBD related environmental policies by providing added value information products on biodiversity status and following the wider SEIS developments; (2) national and federal agencies in reporting on sensitive sites and habitats within biogeographical regions on the entire territory by utilizing advanced image analysis, modelling and information integration techniques; (3) local management authorities by advanced mapping methods for status assessment and change maps of sensitive sites and their surroundings in a spatial explicit manner; (4) all three groups by providing transferable and interoperable monitoring results for an improved information flow between all levels.
A solid and complete reflection on user requirements is the ‘backbone’ of each service-oriented GMES/Copernicus project. User needs were addressed by various means in the project (ordered by the degree of direct user involvement): analysis of relevant documents, questionnaires, dedicated workshops, face-to-face interviews, and a full-fledged validation exercise. Services were defined for each respective implementation level, i.e. on site, state and EU level. Satellite EO data were the crucial source for deriving the developed MS.MONINA information products. The Copernicus Data Warehouse mechanism was used to receive the majority of data, completed with a few singular commercial data orders. A Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) has been used and is still used to support the MS.MONINA service providers in preparing and publishing mappable outcome and geodata. It was intended from the start of the project to share (as much as possible) the existing knowledge and the developed methods. The MS.MONINA body-of-knowledge is a web-based inventory – accessible to the public – of all the tools and methods used in the project. Beyond that, issues of (semantic) interoperability among different classification and mapping schemes have been explored.
MS.MONINA demonstrated the benefit of using services based on EO data to the users that are involved on any level of HabDir policy implementation; therefore it set the crucial conditions for a significant uptake of products and a long-term sustainability of the services. The user communities making use of the developed services can feed their decision-making process on habitat status and trends with indispensable information. Such information is currently still largely lacking or very expensive and time-consuming to obtain (i.e. exclusively by field work). As the successful realization of the developed methods shall influence effectiveness and costs of the monitoring process, the economic impact is expected to be high in EU-Member States. This especially holds true when habitats are to be detected, reported and monitored outside existing protected areas as well. Accordingly, the sustainability of the MS.MONINA approach is high and competitiveness of the participating European value-adding companies will be enhanced. Ultimately, the project strives to install EO technology as a key element in the monitoring routines for sites and landscapes which harbour threatened habitats in Europe and beyond.
Project Context and Objectives:
The EU Habitats Directive (HabDir, council directive 92/43/EEC) is the European answer to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). HabDir is one of the world‘s most effective legal instruments concerning biodiversity and nature conservation and a success story among pan-European initiatives. Its physical manifestation, the network of protected sites Natura 2000, covers a significant share of the EU territory (more than 20%). These areas are dispersed and often located in remote and inaccessible areas, but the Directive requires standardised monitoring and reporting, both inside and outside protected areas. Authorities are therefore in need of updated information products on status and trends of these areas. MS.MONINA develops an objective operational, yet economically priced solution fostering the use of Copernicus space and in-situ infrastructure and advanced EO-based analysis and modelling tools, specifically tailored to user requirements in terms of relevance, level-of-detail and scale, steadiness and reliability, uptake and fitness to existing workflows.
MS.MONINA follows a pan-European, multi-scale approach on different levels reflecting the specificity and the variety of habitats in the different biogeographical regions. Three (sub-)services are offered, reflecting these levels of operation, i.e. MS.MONINA EU, MS.MONINA State, and MS.MONINA Site. Each of the service developments follows the same overall logic in three steps (service specification, service implementation, and evolution), but tailored to the (user-) and technical requirements that are specific for each service level. User requirements questionnaires collect all details on existing work flows, data usages, and the responsibilities imposed by the directive. Based on these requirement specifications testing, comparison and integration of state-of-the-art methodologies is performed, resulting in the actual development of the services. Demonstrators, accompanied by a user validation exercise, complete the service evolution plan and the final scoping towards market. In order to facilitate the uptake by the users, an operational service is expected to fully integrate the recent potential of EO techniques and image analysis routines, but at the same time deliver conditioned information products in a familiar and ready-to-use format. MS.MONINA thereby addresses: (1) agencies on EU level, i.e. ETC Biodiversity, the EEA and DG Environment, in their reporting requirements to CBD related environmental policies by providing added value information products on biodiversity status and following the wider SEIS developments; (2) national and federal agencies in reporting on sensitive sites and habitats within biogeographical regions on the entire territory by utilizing advanced image analysis, modelling and information integration techniques; (3) local management authorities by advanced mapping methods for status assessment and change maps of sensitive sites and their surroundings in a spatial explicit manner; (4) all three groups by providing transferable and interoperable monitoring results for an improved information flow between all levels.
The following overall aims the scope of the RTD work packages (2 through 7) as well as work package 8 (‘Dissemination’). They translated into n specific objectives (Ox.1-n) to guide the respective activities within the WPs:
WP 2 Emerging SP/user networks and user validation
Overall aim: To support users in their current practices by promoting the understanding acceptance of the service portfolio and to carry out, based on previous or ongoing GMES validation schemes, service validation exercises with the relevant core users targeted by the three MS.MONINA services contributing to the user-side vision how these services can be operationally implemented on the three levels (European, national and local).
O2.1 Identify, structure and expand the existing SP/user network.
O2.2 Stimulate and maintain a sustaining dialogue between the service providers and the end-users community with responsibilities on EU, state and site level.
O2.3 Compile, evaluate, structure and review the user requirements for the products of MS.MONINA translating these requirements into service level agreements on accommodating feedback to the service system specification.
O2.4 Support the users in understanding and appraising the service portfolio.
O2.5 Carry out, based on previous or ongoing GMES validation schemes, service validation exercises with the relevant core users targeted by the three MS.MONINA services.
O2.6 Contribute to the user-side vision how these services can be operationally implemented on the three levels (European, national and local).
O2.7 Assure a coherent line of MS.MONINA with the European policy on biodiversity.
WP 3 MS.MONINA EU
Overall aim: To support agencies on EU level, i.e. ETC-BD, ETC-LUSI, the EEA and DG Environment, as well as on biogeographic level, i.e. the MedWet (the Regional Mediterranean Initiative of the Ramsar Convention) in their reporting in the framework of the CBD related environmental policies by providing added value information products on biodiversity status within biogeographical regions.
O3.1 Produce a synthesis of what are the EU level user requirements for biodiversity inventory and monitoring and the EU level current practices in using EO-based products and services to address these needs. Based on this, define general EU level service requirements for MS MONINA services.
O3.2 Produce technical syntheses at EU level on the possibilities and limits of RS methods for each broad habitat category (forests, grasslands, wetlands), and derive recommendations for their more efficient use at EU, biogeographical and MS levels.
O3.3 Set-up a MS.MONINA EU portal providing products and services on this level and to produce a handbook describing the service portfolio (WP 8).
O3.4 Validate MS.MONINA EU products through a validation exercise (WP 2).
WP 4 MS.MONINA State
Overall aim: To support national and federal agencies in reporting on sensitive sites and habitats within biogeographical regions on the entire territory and on the network of SCIs/SACs, as outlined in Article 17 (1) of the Habitats Directive.
O4.1 The integration of update information delivered at habitat patch level and at European level into a MS (Member States) monitoring system.
O4.2 Set up a modelling system for the potential presence of non-reported habitats.
O4.3 Establish a class models and image analysis tools for users on MS level, which allows for links between the monitoring and the modelling system.
O4.4 Validate MS.MONINA State service products through a validation exercise (WP 2), to feed the MS.MONINA SDI (WP 7), and to deliver a service portfolio online handbook for dissemination (WP 8).
WP 5 MS.MONINA Site
Overall aim: To develop the MS.MONINA Site service that facilitates the mapping and monitoring of sensitive sites (and their surroundings) and individual habitat patches, so that local site management is supported by GMES space capacity.
O5.1 Update existing habitat geometries reflecting on relevant changes using data integration techniques and spatially explicit change assessments.
O5.2 Update on reported statuses of Natura 2000 and other sensitive sites by using advanced and automated classification algorithms and to derive, based on appropriate indicators, hints on deterioration or improvement of conservation status.
O5.3 Validate MS.MONINA Site service products through a validation exercise (WP 2), to feed the MS.MONINA SDI (WP 7), and to deliver a service portfolio online handbook for dissemination (WP 8).
WP 6 Common toolbox and data access
Overall aim: To assure, on project level, that tools and methods used within MS.MONINA are appropriate for the respective tasks to be fulfilled, and to coordinate the data access process (both satellite and in-situ data).
O6.1 Ensure and coordinate satellite data access via GMES DataWarehouse and in-situ data access from users (collaboration with WP 2).
O6.2 Perform a requirement analysis for tools and methods involved in terms functions, architecture, scoping, applicability, input and output data, and interfaces.
O6.3 Generate a knowledge data base for image analysis and integration tools.
WP 7 Interoperability and MS.MONINA SDI
Overall aim: To set-up an operational interface for discovery, viewing and access of all output products generated in the MS.MONINA project. A project specific SDI portal will be developed as a unique access point for both spatial data and services related to the project.
O7.1 Set up a catalogue service according to the OGC CSW 2.0.2 ISO Profile and a related web-based catalogue client. Metadata will be encoded according to the INSPIRE metadata IR. A common metadata profile will be established and a tool to provide the metadata.
O7.2 Set up a WMS server and client to configure WMS viewing services.
O7.3 Provide data access via WCS or WFS both for serving the WMS viewing service and possibly for data consumers outside the project.
[Interoperability] Since MS.MONINA follows a multi-scale approach, the results of the EU, state, and site level have to be transferable in terms of geometry and semantic relations. Therefore, it is proposed to supply an interoperable transfer for the data between these scales for defined test cases. The development of an ontology aims to provide:
O7.4 Understanding the semantic relations between the different products at the EU, state, and site level for defined test cases
O7.5 Transferable results between the EU, state, and site for potential up- and downscaling for selected test sites of varying habitats and natural characteristics in different biogeographic regions.
WP 8 Dissemination, exploitation and others
Overall aim: This WP comprises activities aiming at communicating, integrating, sharing knowledge and disseminating MS.MONINA achievements to the target audience, using the momentum of the “International Year of Biodiversity”, and managing, in accordance to the diversity of GMES actor groups involved, IPRs and scientific exchange.
O8.1 Set up an IPR strategy and scientific dissemination plan for the overall duration of the project.
O8.2 Set-up and manage a project website and prepare communication material.
O8.3 Promote idea and share results of the MS.MONINA project at relevant conferences and events.
O8.4 Organise a joint MS.MONINA / EBONE / Nature-SDIplus workshop and a special session at an international conference (GI_Forum 2013).
O8.5 Deliver a service portfolio online handbook.
O8.6 Towards market: develop scenarios for MS.MONINA branding.
O8.7 Encouraging active participation of female researchers, stakeholders, and decision-makers to ensure a gender balanced viewpoint and approach on the issues addressed.
This section is organised in subchapters that reflect on the actual chronological development status of S&T activities carried out in the project. Note that this logic only partly matches with the work package sequence as defined in the Description of Work. Every section is introduced with a short summary statement on scope and intention. Links to deliverables are provided by uniformly using the short form Del for Deliverable. An asterisk (*) indicate that this deliverable is publicly available (dissemination level ‘PU’) and can be downloaded from the MS.MONINA website (www.ms-monina.eu).
1 USER REQUIREMENTS (GENERAL REFLECTION ON USER COMMUNITY, PARTICULAR NEEDS ON SITE-LEVEL, STATE-LEVEL, EU-LEVEL)
A solid and complete reflection on user requirements is the ‘backbone’ of each service-oriented GMES/Copernicus project. User needs were addressed by various means in the project (ordered by the degree of direct user involvement): analysis of relevant documents, questionnaires, dedicated workshops, face-to-face interviews, and a full-fledged validation exercise.
1.1 USER REQUIREMENTS DOSSIER
MS.MONINA reflects need to respond to EU reporting obligations on environmental legislation, particularly regarding the EU Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC. This directive requires monitoring of the habitat types and habitat species of community interest, listed in the annexes to the directive (Art. 11), and six-yearly reporting of their conservation status in a standardised way (Art. 17). Likewise, the EU Birds Directive 2009/147/EC requires monitoring and reporting of the bird species listed in its annexes. Both directives are the cornerstone of the Natura 2000 network, the most relevant pan-European activity about biodiversity and nature conservation. Natura 2000 together with the above mentioned Directives respond to the reporting obligation of the EU to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
The MS.MONINA user requirement dossier (Del 2.1*) reviews the current user discussions on how to further develop MS.MONINA services, using the combination of EO and in-situ data at the three proposed levels, being local, regional-national, and European. On one hand, MS.MONINA recognises local and national users as the key user organisations that should be addressed to identify the user needs from the technical point of view, to allow complying with the EU directives and other national-regional legislation. On the other hand, EU institutions, in the context of political mandates expressed in current directives and strategies, are in charge of compiling information at European level as well as reporting for European Commission purposes. These main institutions are the European Environmental Agency (EEA), the European Commission’s Directorate-General Environment (DG Env.), and the European Topic Centres (ETCs) on Biological Diversity (ETC/BD) and Spatial Information (ETC/SIA).
The dossier provides a description of the MS.MONINA user requirements addressing the multiscale approach. It identifies: (1) policy drivers responsible for pulling demand; (2) the user organisational framework by main thematic issues; (3) the detailed description of the requirements at thematic and product level.
The current user requirements were compiled and summarized based on different sources:
• Analysis from previous GMES/Copernicus projects and other precursor projects (e.g. FP5-SPIN)
• Feedback from user partners meetings (KOM, Salzburg, December 2010 and Technical meeting, Münster, March 2011, Joint Workshop, Brussels, February 2012)
• Feedback from a dedicated User Workshop (Málaga, October 2012)
• Comments made at conferences and meetings with user participation (Biodiversity-knowledge Conference, SPIRAL workshop, MS.MONINA Summer School)
• Questionnaire feedback by users supplied by the MS.MONINA partners.
The deliverables (Del 5.1* Del 4.1* Del 3.1*) contain specific requirements on the respective levels, site, state and EU.
1.2 USER REQUIREMENTS REPORT (SITE LEVEL)
The user requirements report on site level (Del 5.1*) is based on a thorough analysis of the user needs at site level, as a refinement of the overall user requirement analysis. The specific aims were:
• To provide an overview of the types of user needs related to biodiversity monitoring at site level, with a focus on the requirements related to the determination of habitat quality, as derived from manuals to assess the conservation status of natural habitats.
• To compare the formally defined user needs as described in the conservation status manuals with the results of the MS.MONINA questionnaire that focuses on site level.
1.3 USER REQUIREMENTS REPORT (STATE-LEVEL)
The user requirements report on state level (Del 4.1*) reflects the needs at the regional and national administrative level for HabDir monitoring and reporting. Complementary to the user requirement dossier (Del 2.1*) this report focuses on the more technical requirements associated with the implementation of WP 4 state services.
Existing monitoring and reporting mechanisms from a selection of European countries (Germany, Greece, Austria, Czech Republic, Spain and Belgium) are surveyed and described to derive recommendations for the specification of MS.MONINA state services to ensure user uptake at the national and/or regional level.
MS.MONINA state services have to take other land cover monitoring schemes stipulated by European requirements into account. Of particular interest are the HNV farmland monitoring, the Cross Compliance requirements and the current developments for biodiversity indicators as part of the EU biodiversity strategy schemes which have diverse national implementation approaches. Additionally there are land cover inventories in many countries, which have been produced for a variety of purposes (e.g. biotope maps, topographical data). These may not use the same habitat classifications, but often their typologies can be mapped (translated) into the Annex I typology. These have to be acknowledged and if possible used in the MS.MONINA state services. Existing approaches to monitor habitats outside protected Natura 2000 sites vary from sample plots to area-wide approaches in the member states. MS.MONINA state services have to be flexible enough to provide spatial information from sample plots to regional or national coverages.
1.4 USER REQUIREMENTS REPORT (EU-LEVEL)
The user requirements report (Del 3.1*) contains a collection and synthesis of users requirements at the EU level (DG ENV, EEA, ETC-BD) including data requirements for Habitats Directive Art. 17(2), Streamlining European Biodiversity Indicators 2010 (SEBI2010) and other relevant European initiatives (e.g. The Mediterranean Wetland Initiative, MEDWET). The goal of exercise is build a basis for the MS.MONINA EU service definition, expected outputs, the service function, in brief the service level agreement (tight cooperation with WP2) and ist implementation roadmap by the project partners.
Moreover this report contains an assessment of the usability of Corine Land Cover (CLC), ist derived products and the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) high resolution layer (HRL) products for biodiversity reporting. The original developments in Geoland2 and the implementation of the HRLs within the GMES Initial Operations (GIO) will be monitored and the new land cover products assessed using the consortium experience and expertise.
Finally, it proposes a MS. MONINA EU service prototype: the general concept of MS.MONINA is defined in this document along with the service specifications and the functional architecture. IT has since been discussed with the end-users for analyzing the suitability of the proposed system and ist feasibility.
2 SERVICE DEFINITIONS AND SERVICE-LEVEL AGREEEMENTS [SITE SERVICE, STATE SERVICE, EU SERVICE]
Services were defined for each respective implementation level, i.e. on site, state and EU level. Some of the (sub-)services were specified in service level agreements, partly during the project preparation phase (proposal), partly within the project lifetime.
2.1 SERVICE DEFINITION REPORT (SITE-LEVEL)
The service definition report on site level (Del 5.2) provides at first hand an inventory of site level services developed previously by WP 5 partners. All the services are related to Natura 2000 mapping and monitoring, but were originally designed with specific goals, sites and/or biogeographical regions in mind. Services are outlined in terms of their aim(s), general workflow, functional architecture, data flows and interfaces, and physical architecture. This document was considered as a first overview of the expertise available among the WP 5 partners.
A wide range of subservices have already been developed by the service providers, each with their specific outputs. Some types of outputs can be provided by several partners, while others are currently developed and tested for specific sites only. The subservices can be tentatively grouped based on ecologically relevant characteristics of the output. This classification may form a user-friendly basis for the structure of the final MS.MONINA site service: Maps and indicators on a larger scale, related to connectivity and landscape-configuration. Maps consisting of patches of vegetation types or habitats. Maps of the conservation status of vegetation / areas, with indication of certain threats and quality indicators. Maps documenting land use/land cover changes.
We analysed whether and in how far these subservices can be used to derive user-relevant information related to Natura 2000 habitat types and their quality at the site level. This was done in a threefold way:
• A further analysis of the user requirements at site level, to find out if and which user needs can be fulfilled using remote sensing techniques.
• An analysis of the usability and exchangeability of these methods across sites and biogeographical regions.
• A cost-benefit analysis when different subservices result in similar end products, taking into account costs of imagery and processing time, including a comparison with non-remote sensing methods whenever possible.
2.2 SERVICE DEFINITION REPORT (STATE-LEVEL)
Based on a common framework several pilot service cases were develop and implemented within the Atlantic, Continental, Mediterranean and Alpine Biogeographical Region. The MS.MONINA WP4 State Services are based on modelling and image analysis components.
• A maximum entropy approach was developed for habitat modelling to support image classification through habitat potential maps.
• Image classification is based on a variety of methods and tools. By this, conditioned information on habitat distribution for Natura 2000 reporting outside the protected network sites is provided, which can be used by regional and national authorities.
2.3 MS.MONINA EU.SERVICE PROTOTYPE
One central objective of MS.MONINA is to support agencies at the European Union (EU) level (i.e. European Topic Centre on Biological Diversity, the European Environment Agency and the European Commission Directorate General Environment), in their reporting requirements (including quality, consistency, etc.) in the framework of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and in keeping track of the efficiency of the Habitats Directive (Council Directive 92/43/EC). To address those needs, a specific European level service prototype has been set up by the MS.MONINA consortium. The current document focuses on the technical setup of the EU.Service prototype and aims at presenting the developed functionalities which enable its activation. It also gives three use case scenarios illustrating potential implementation areas of the EU.Service with ist two main components: policy monitoring and magnifier.
The EU.Service handbook (Del 3.4*) (see below) describes the operational procedures for implementing and triggering the EU-level service and the types of subservices that can be requested. It accommodates further conceptual developments done in the project. Thus it supports EU users during the whole lifecycle of the EU-level service activation from the submission of the request, through its processing and until the customized generation of the map products.
2.4 SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS
The efforts to build up service providers (SP) – users (U) relationships for a pre-operational service are reflected inan inventory of service level agreements (Del 2.2). It has been compiled during the first half of the project, and consequently updated; thus it includes some programmatic considerations regarding the expansion of the SP-U network.
Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are translate the user needs into a service definition. This definition is a key input for the service system specification. Prior to the conclusion of an SLA, a Letter of Commitment (LoC) reflects the interest and readiness of users to participate in the user engagement programme.
3 SATELLITE DATA ACQUISITION
Satellite EO data were the crucial source for deriving the developed MS.MONINA information products. The Copernicus Data Warehouse mechanism was used to receive the majority of data, completed with a few singular commercial data orders.
3.1 DATA ACQUISITION REQUIREMENTS REPORT 1
MS.MONINA contributed to the development of Earth observation (EO)-based services for biodiversity monitoring, which is one of the thematic areas addressed by the Copernicus programme. Earth Observation (EO) data therefore play a key role in this project. Shifting from the GMES Data Access Portal to the GMES DataWarehouse this project was an operational test runs for EO data distribution through the Warehouse. The specific requirements for EO data in terms of type (spectral and spatial resolution) and seasonal coverage make the EO data distribution mechanism a critical element in the project.
The Data Acquisition Requirements Report 1 (Del 6.4) is based on an initial collection of requirements provided by the project partners already during the project negotiation phase, which have been refined and detailed during the initial phase of the project. In order to follow the data acquisition process, the results of the first steps made with ESA’s GMES Data Warehouse (DWH), which started operation in June 2011, have been integrated into this document. This comprises the documentation of the data ordering as well as an overview of first datasets provided to the project.
The GMES data acquisition mechanism was able to provide the project with all requested high resolution data (HR1), which are represented by RapidEye data from the years 2009 to 2011 for six state pilot (WP4) areas, and with a large part of the very high resolution data (VHR1 represented by WorldView-2) from the vegetation period of 2011 for the WP5 site pilots. The Report 1 was compiled in September 2011.
3.2 DATA ACQUISITION REQUIREMENTS REPORT 2
Del 6.4 was complemented with the Data Acquisition Requirements Report 2 (Del 6.5) in the second project year. It is based (1) on the initial collection of requirements provided by the project partners during the project negotiation phase, which have been refined and detailed during the initial phase of the project, and (2) on the Data Acquisition Requirements Report 1 (Del 6.4). Ultimately, the GMES data acquisition mechanism was able to provide all requested high resolution data (HR1), which are covered by RapidEye data from the years 2009 to 2011 for seven state pilots (WP 4), and to a large part the very high resolution data (VHR1, covered by WorldView-2) from the vegetation periods of 2011 and 2012 for the WP 5 site pilots.
4 MS.MONINA WEB PORTAL ARCHITECTURE
Sharing data and products within project partners and the community at large is one of the strategic aims of MS.MONINA. In addition to a dedicated OGC compliant spatial data infrastructure (SDI) to host and organize all products, a map viewer has been developed that displays the produced data layers in an appealing way.
4.1 ARCHITECTURE AND INTERFACE DOCUMENT FOR SDI
A Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) consists of ‘spatial data’, ‘metadata’, ‘users’ and ‘tools’. It has been used and is still used to support the MS.MONINA service providers in preparing and publishing mappable outcome and geodata. The architecture and interface document (Del 7.1) explains the MS.MONINA geoportal. It shows which tools are available and how the metadata editor can be used, in order to efficiently use the geoportal to explore and share MS.MONINA products.
The MS.MONINA SDI architecture had the main advantage of being flexible (by the use of open standards) and lacking any commercial licenses. During the design process, the aim was to avoid complex interfaces and to maximize the level of automation.
An important aspect with respect to standardisation is that all MS.MONINA metadata and services …
• are compliant with relevant ISO and OGC standards, in line with the INSPIRE directive,
• are harmonized amongst the different partners, and
• have a unique access point, independent whether data and services are stored centrally or decentralized.
The document was updated several times reflecting the decisions and restrictions that came up during the implementation phase. As a metadata profile we decided not to use the NatureSDIplus profile but the more general INSPIRE profile, and adapted it accordingly.
4.2 OPERATIONAL SDI INFRASTRUCTURE
The MS.MONINA SDI is accessible via the ‘Geoportal’ on the project website and the Metadata editor (accessible on http://184.108.40.206:8088/geoportal/) as the realization of the architecture and interfaces described in Del 7.1. The MS.MONINA SDI offers catalogue, viewing and downloading functionality, and is based upon GeoNetwork and GeoServer.
The MS.MONINA metadata editor is loosely coupled with the SDI. It facilitates the creation of a valid metadata file. Its use is not mandatory: valid metadata files may be created with other editors. Metadata are always uploaded together with a product. The metadata editor is based upon the well documented and customizable ESRI Geoportal Server. Still, the metadata editor is hosted at eoVision, while the SDI is hosted at VITO. It is planned that in the longer run all components may be hosted at the coordinator, PLUS.
4.3 IMPLEMENTATION GUIDELINES
The MS.MONINA geoportal served as the central access point for discovery and download of all geographic output products generated in the MS.MONINA project.
MS.MONINA service providers can choose between two options to make their products available to the public:
• Upload products directly in the central MS.MONINA SDI.
• Upload products in a decentralized SDI that they have up and running or want to set up at their own premises.
The guidelines document (Del 7.3) describes the requirements for decentralized catalogues and the steps to connect a decentralized catalogue to the central catalogue. Once connected, the central catalogue will ‘harvest’ from the decentralized catalogue, so that the metadata become automatically available in the central catalogue for discovery. The central catalogue provides a link to all outputs stored in any decentralized SDI.
5 REFLECTION ON EO-BASED CAPACITY IN HABITAT AND BIODIVERSITY MAPPING
Continuous effort is needed to counteract the steady loss of biodiversity worldwide. Ambitious goals, to be attained by 2020, are set by the board of the international Convention on Biological Diversity. At the European Union level, the European Biodiversity Strategy states as first goal the full implementation of its biodiversity related directives, with clear and measurable targets to be attained by 2020. To measure the progress made, monitoring is indispensable. However, the area to be covered is huge, making monitoring by field-based methods labour intensive and excessively expensive. Therefore, biodiversity monitoring by remote sensing is increasingly gaining attention from policy makers as a cost-efficient alternative.
5.1 TECHNICAL SYNTHESIS
A technical synthesis report on the possibilities (and limitations) of remote sensing for mapping natural habitats (Del 3.2*) to document the potential of remote sensing data and tools for a better understanding of the diversity of natural and semi-naturals habitats, their spatial distribution and their conservation status. These aspects are addressed by the European obligations imposed by the Habitats Directive (92/43/). Several European projects such as MS.MONINA and BIO_SOS and precursors such as SPIN, EON 2000+, Geoland Observatory, Habistat, etc.) and a large number of scientific studies (a total of 340 checked references) deal with the issue of mapping European natural habitats via remote sensing and deriving indicators on their conservation status. There is a great variety of remote sensors used in these studies and a panoply of methods developed utilizing current image analysis capabilities. The aim of the technical synthesis was to provide an inventory on what is currently feasible in terms of detection of natural and semi-natural habitats and the assessment of their conservation status. It uncovers the potential of remote sensing coupled with GIS technology for understanding the distribution of habitats in Europe. The term ‘remote sensing’ is used to indicate the more advanced, computer-assisted analytical tools for information extraction from satellite or airborne imagery (the purely visual interpretation of aerial photographs or other (analogue or digital) images is excluded). Given the large number of habitats of community interest listed in Annex 1 of the habitats directive, only broad habitat categories are addressed in this synthesis, namely forests, grasslands, heathland and wetlands.
5.2 USABILITY ASSESSMENT REPORT
The report on 'usability assessment' (Del 4.5*) focuses on the availability, usability and accessibility of the GIO land high-resolution layers (HRL) as a complementary information layer for the MS.MONINA services. The GMES/Copernicus initial operations (2011 - 2013) of the land monitoring service (‘GIO land’) focus on the priority for multi-purpose information common to a large community of users. These users include representatives of policy making, implementation and monitoring, in the EU and its Member States, regional and local authorities, public institutions including universities, research centres, even single citizens using public services, etc. Four components have been identified:
• Pan-European global component producing biophysical variables at global scale (i.e. worldwide). It is coordinated by the European Commission DG Joint Research Centre (JRC);
• Pan-European land cover, land cover change and land cover characteristics (‘high resolution layers’, HRL, forest, wetlands, water, sealed surface, grassland);
• Local component providing very high spatial resolution information on specific areas of interest;
• In-situ data, including access to a reference data building on INSPIRE architecture and useful for several Copernicus services.
The land monitoring service focuses on the priorities defined by the land monitoring service implementation group and the results of consultation of user communities. The Land Service builds on precursor activities (Geoland and Geoland-2), ESA GSE (GMES Service Element) projects, Corine Land Cover (CLC), Land Fast Track precursor project, on a preparatory action (Reference Data Access project) and on existing operational activities at European and national levels.
5.3 FRAMEWORK FOR IDENTIFYING THREATS AND PRESSURES
Biodiversity is facing many pressures that affect its persistence. Identifying these pressures is a first step towards effective conservation goals. Protected areas are considered hotspots for biodiversity. Detection of current and future pressures is therefore a priority in these sites. The report (Del 5.6*) is a first exploration of how existing and future remote sensing imagery can be used to identify pressures to biodiversity at the level of protected sites. Main focus here is on sites of the Natura 2000 network that form the backbone of the biodiversity policy of the European Union, with special reference to the habitat types of European Community interest. By the example of the recently developed HRLs of the GIO land and the various indicators related to them on the one hand, and the reference list of pressures developed by the European Commission on the other hand, a non-comprehensive list of relationships between indicators and pressures has been compiled. As each of these relationships is highly hypothetical, a decision tree like design that evaluates multiple indicators step-by-step seems is proposed. Preferentially, a decision tree is made for each habitat type or group of habitat types, if necessary stratified by biogeographical region.
6 THE MS.MONINA BODY-OF-KNOWLEDGE AND TOOLS REPOSITORY
It was intended from the start of the project to share (as much as possible) the existing knowledge and the developed methods. The MS.MONINA body-of-knowledge is a web-based inventory – accessible to the public – of all the tools and methods used in the project. Beyond that, issues of (semantic) interoperability among different classification and mapping schemes have been explored.
6.1 REPORT ON METHODOLOGICAL TOOLS
A questionnaire-based survey, which was carried out among the service providers participating in MS.MONINA consortium, characterizes tools and methods used by the project participants. The questionnaire was constructed in such a way as to obtain information on objectives for tool application, characteristics of input and output data, software packages and algorithms used and a description of the tool itself. Also, the level of tool availability/usability was characterized.
The eleven service providers participating in the MS.MONINA consortium responded to the questionnaire, delivering information on their tools, which have been applied for different habitats and purposes. Various types of habitats are represented ranging from forests through heathland to wetland and alpine habitats. Also, a wide range of approaches for habitat mapping and monitoring are applied: pixel-based and object-oriented approaches, hard and soft (fuzzy) classifications, both supervised and unsupervised, employing spectral, as well as spatial (textural, contextual) features. The software systems used in the presented approaches range from commercial software packages for image processing and GIS analysis (ERDAS IMAGINE, ENVI, PCI, eCognition, ArcGIS) to in-house developed solutions, implemented e.g. in Matlab or R software. Different levels of tool usability are recorded; most of tools require parameterization, but other solutions e.g. a single button click are also possible.
The report (Del 6.1*) assembles all tools and methodological approaches, applied by MS.MONINA partners including a critical summary on scope and usages.
6.2 KNOWLEDGE DATABASE
The MS.MONINA Body of Knowledge (BoK, Del 6.2) aims at collecting accessible tools and methods used for monitoring and reporting in the context of HabDir. The BoK is a tool itself, which has been designed, implemented, and used in the context of the project. Registered users can browse tools using a variety of navigation methods, with respect to their preferences. Guided search provides static menus, which leads to a listing of tools that share the requested common attribute, e.g. the same specific purpose selected by a menu option. Advanced search provides multiple criteria selection, while tags and interlinks increase the BoK’s flexibility and usability.
6.3 MANUAL AND AUTHENTICATION
Regarding the database schema the application has adopted a tool-centric approach: the tool is the main element to be inserted into the database. A tool can be defined by a set of attributes that compose ist main description. A wide variety of related elements (files, images, links) associated to a specific tool can then be inserted to BoK. For instance, a tool’s source code or a PDF file describing a method could be inserted as files associated to a tool. Therefore, the BoK technically supports tools consisting of programs (source code or executable files) and tools consisting of algorithms/methods.
The layers built on top of the database layer of the application (interface and intermediate layer) permitting web accessibility with respect to users’ rights. Registered users have limited access to tools stored in the database and view-only rights, while users belonging to a partner have advanced privileges; they are allowed to add tools, and edit/delete tools uploaded by their partner. The manual and authentication document (Del 6.3) provides a guided document of how to use and access the BoK.
6.4 MS INTEROPERABILITY REPORT
The MS.MONINA interoperability report (Del 7.4*) provides an overview of the advances made by the project in interoperability issues. It contains a methodological procedure for the development of an ontology for heathland habitats. The aim is to generate semantic transferability between two test pilots defined in the project. Furthermore it presents a use case prototype implementation of a data transfer based on semantics. The first part provides background knowledge on ontologies and gives examples of the usage of semantic systems in the nature conservation domain. In a next step, the two test pilots Döberitzer Heide and Kalmthoutse Heide the thematic content regarding the derived classes and indicators were analysed.
Likewise, a strategy for building up a heathland monitoring ontology was developed. The ontology consist of indicators identified by remote sensing classification algorithms, derived classes and heathland habitat types, that are described in Annex 1 of HabDir. Then, the ontology was aligned to a Top-Level ontology called Descriptive Ontology for Cognitive Engineering (DOLCE) to generate broader interoperability and ensure a correct formalization. Furthermore possible technical links to developments of other projects (NatureSDIplus, BIO_SOS) were discussed.
7 SERVICE CASES, SERVICE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION
The project has followed a service development and evolution approach. Services were assessed by users (see next section) and improved according to user feedback and methodological advancements. This section highlights all relevant steps beyond the initial service definition (see above), including the choice of service cases and demonstrators as well as details regarding service implementation.
7.1 SERVICE CASES AND DEMONSTRATORS
The MS.MONINA project followed a three scale approach, building upon service provider and user networks on European, regional and local level. The service portfolio is presented in the 'service cases and demonstrators' report (Del 2.3) as a list of service cases that have been developed and carried out during the lifetime of the project.
A service case represents a user-service provider constellation where a specific service is developed and applied based on the user requirements stated in the beginning of the project (see Del 2.1*) using different kinds of types of formal documents (see Del 2.2). Hence, every service case is the application of a dedicated service to a specific regional (state level) or local (site level) setting. The service cases are described in detail focussing on the site conditions, the service characteristics and the specific products.
Furthermore, from all available service cases some have been selected by the users and service providers as demonstrators. These demonstrators aim at showing external users the possibilities of how Earth observation data can be used to create habitat monitoring services resulting in high-quality products. They highlight the most representative achievements and are described in further details regarding both their highlighted features and remaining challenges.
7.2 SERVICE DEVELOPMENT REPORT (SITE LEVEL)
The MS.MONINA site service providers offer a diverse set of biodiversity-related products based on remote sensing. This reflects the high flexibility and broad possibilities of remote sensing and image processing techniques to support habitat mapping and conservation status assessment methods. Before the start of MS.MONINA most algorithms were only applied to one or a few sites, and the performance of these algorithms in other settings remained vague (see Del 5.4). Therefore, it was tested whether the algorithms could successfully be applied to other sites or using other image types. In this report (Del 5.3) service providers described the problems they encountered and the adaptations needed to enhance the applicability of their subservice to a wider range of habitats and areas. Frequently, this highlighted issues related to changes in the classification schemes, the availability of field reference data and the need for adaptations of rule-based algorithms. Most of these aspects were solved, and they can even be avoided when requirements on input data are described in the product information.
7.3 COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT REPORT (SITE LEVEL)
The MS.MONINA service providers offered a highly diverse set of biodiversity-related products based on remote sensing. This reflects the high flexibility and broad possibilities of remote sensing and image processing techniques to support habitat mapping and conservation status assessment methods. In a comparative assessment report (Del 5.4*) the output types of the subservices were compared and subservices rearranged in a more logical structure of their output types. This structure follows a hierarchy related to the spatial and thematic scale and resolution of the information provided. The outputs of the new service are: (level 1) maps and indicators on a larger scale, related to connectivity and landscape-configuration, (level 2) maps of patches of vegetation types or habitats, (level 3A) maps of conservation status of vegetation / area and (level 3B) maps documenting land use / land cover changes. Next, the range of habitats and areas in which each output type can be applied were analysed. Based on the expert judgement of the service providers, applicability plots were created illustrating the habitat types for which a certain output can be offered. These plots suggest that the majority of the subservices can be offered in a much wider range of habitats than those represented in the context of the initial test cases.
In addition, subservices were compared in terms of their goals, habitats, image requirements, field data requirements, ancillary data and algorithms, and costs associated with these requirements were explored. In relation to the price of subservices, a note of caution has to be struck: the cost of a product is highly context-dependent. For example, software costs per project will largely depend on the demand for the products, and hence the number of projects for which costs can be shared. There is also a trade-off between price and product quality: many products can be improved, for example by increasing the number of field references (and thus production costs).
7.4 PERFORMANCE REPORT (SITE LEVEL)
Since the early start of satellite EO techniques, technological improvements of the instruments induced a continuous shift towards more detailed remote sensing products, both on a thematic and spatial level. Most methods have been conceived, trained and fine-tuned on one or a few study sites, leaving one of the most critical aspects of the newest innovations unattended: a potential lack of transferability. Fifteen partners contributed to this end, bringing in their collective experience in the form of sixteen different subservices. However, to bring these subservices to wider application, their transferability had to be tested. Making use of the available satellite data (mostly WorldView-II) and the 20 site pilots of MS.MONINA a two-phased transferability exercise was implemented. A first step involved an adaptation of the classification protocol to work with very high resolution, multispectral Worldview-II images that were obtained for most study sites in the frame of MS.MONINA. This was preferably done in the same site as the one for which the protocol was developed. In a second step, the Worldview-II adapted method was applied to one or more other sites, and its performance evaluated. Additionally, qualitative data were collected on the required adaptations to the method, time investment and costs. The report (Del 5.5) provides an extensive account of some well-worked-out examples of the transferability exercise. All in all, most transfers resulted in acceptable results, but with a lower accuracy level and requiring adaptations to the method.
7.5 MS.MONINA SITE SERVICE PROTOTYPES AND IMPLEMENTATION REPORT
Several pilot service pilots were developed and implemented within the Atlantic, Continental, Mediterranean and Alpine Biogeographical Regions of Europe, covering a wide range of Natura 2000 habitats and related monitoring requirements. This deliverable (Del 5.7) presents some of the map outputs from these implementations, as a prototype of what the service can deliver. The document complements the service implementation report (Del 5.8*) which provides further details about the status of the MS.MONINA WP 5 site service and its constituent subservices. Several subservices were further developed and their applicability tested and improved through new implementations. The service implementation report provides a factual overview of the status of these site services at the end of the project, in terms of accomplished implementations on site pilots, method developments, user feedback and challenges for further operationalization. Furthermore, boundary requirements for a successful implementation are listed, and a rough cost estimate is given. The document concludes with a concept design of the site level service, and names further aspects to be tackled for a successful realisation in the future.
7.6 SERVICE DEVELOPMENT REPORT (STATE-LEVEL)
The state service developments were done based on a common framework, several service cases were developed and implemented within the Atlantic, Continental, Mediterranean and Alpine biogeographical region. The concept of the information layers was further consolidated as a core element of the state service(s) based on modelling and image analysis components.
Following on the user expectations (Del 4.1) and initial service specifications (Del 4.2) the development report (4.3) provides an update on modifications made in the course of the project, a summary of the current service status and further steps needed to complete the service implementations.
7.7 MS.MONINA STATE SERVICE PROTOTYPE AND IMPLEMENTATION REPORT
The state service has been implemented within the Atlantic, Continental, Mediterranean and Alpine biogeographical region covering a range of Annex 1 habitats and thus supports related reporting requirements. Three major product groups were defined, examples of which are shown in the state service prototype document (Del 4.4*). The state service implementation report (Del 4.6*) provides an overview of the implementation status of the service with respect to the information products and information layers delivered, the methodological developments, user interaction experiences, and challenges and experiences gained.
7.8 SERVICE IMPLEMENTATION REPORT (EU-LEVEL)
The EU-level service consists of on-demand provision of geo-spatial information in support to EU stakeholders activities. The concept is built around two main components:
• a magnifier component which aims to provide habitat distribution and quality indicator maps for biodiversity hotspot sites (e.g. riparian protected areas, coastal areas);
• a policy monitoring component which provides a reactive cartographic service as a mean for external/independent validation of national biodiversity reports. It is triggered upon request from EU mandated users.
Depending on the biogeographical region, the extent of the area of interest, the priority habitats existing in that area and the experience of the project partners in dealing with these types of habitats a dedicated subservice will be activated. The subservices are based on the MS.MONINA portfolio from site or state level products.
This report (Del 3.4*) contains a 'handbook' for operating procedures for implementing and triggering the EU-level service and the types of subservices that can be requested. After identifying and describing existing portals and initiatives related to biodiversity data and information, the detailed design of the service is explained and illustrated. The implementations of the service, including the options for the technical specifications are discussed.
8 USER APPRAISAL AND VALIDATION
8.1 VALIDATION REPORTS
The sequence of validation reports (Del 2.4) provides a full overview of the validation activities within the MS.MONINA project. These activities encompass (1) gathering user feedback regarding the services and products provided by the project and (2) conducting the validation exercise in which service providers showed their capacity to provide on demand services for habitat mapping and monitoring (see below). The underlying methods are described and the results are presented in order to assess the quality, usability and impact of MS.MONINA services for both internal and external users. The results, user comments and conclusions may help service provider further improving and undergo future developments in the context of habitat mapping and monitoring based on EO techniques.
The concluding remarks go beyond the results presented in this document and mirror the validation results in the context of the overall user engagement activities within MS.MONINA. These conclusions may provide …
• project partners with a comprehensive feedback on the overall service process and, particularly, the relationship between users and service provider;
• other forthcoming projects with an overview of methodologies and interfaces regarding the user engagement in Copernicus related initiatives; and
• the overall Copernicus programme with a valuable input for their best practices of user engagement in remote sensing research and development.
8.2 VALIDATION EXERCISE
A product or service validation is a process that provides documented evidence about both the service’s technical maturity and the level of acceptance by the user. Hence it assures that the services or products are accepted, if high quality products match with specific information requirements. Based on this background and on the accumulated expertise during the first two years of the project, a validation exercise was set up for site and state level services to:
• Show the consortium’s ability to provide biodiversity information ‘on demand’,
• Show evidence of work on a collaborative rather than a competitive basis,
• Provide an adapted validation protocol for habitat monitoring.
Two users external to the project consortium were selected based on the following criteria:
• A legally protected site (at least Natura 2000), with established conservation administration (for site level),
• The availability of time series of a wide range of reference data (aerial and satellite images, habitat maps, etc.),
• A biodiversity hotspot with current human pressure.
After a review of possibilities, the decision was taken to conduct the validation exercise for the site service in the Sierra Nevada Protected Area and for the state service in the Autonomous Region of Andalusia. The Sierra Nevada Protected Area Administration3 and the Andalusia Agency for Environment and Water4 were identified as users, respectively.
1 SUMMARY DESCRIPTION OF POTENTIAL IMPACT
MS.MONINA developed and promoted services, tools and interfaces with a significant added value for local stakeholders, Member States and European institutions. By providing essential (and currently often missing) spatially explicit information, the project strengthens the strategic role of Natura 2000 to support Europe’s environmental commitments. Beyond EU territory, it also has a global impact by contributing to the implementation and verification of the Community environmental policies, national regulations and international conventions.
MS.MONINA demonstrated the benefit of using services based on EO data to the users that are involved on any level of HabDir policy implementation; therefore it set the crucial conditions for a significant uptake of products and a long-term sustainability of the services. The user communities making use of the developed services can feed their decision-making process on habitat status and trends with indispensable information. Such information is currently still largely lacking or very expensive and time-consuming to obtain (i.e. exclusively by field work). At EU- and Member State level, the services will be used to evaluate policies at different scales and adapt them when necessary. As the successful realization of the developed methods shall influence effectiveness and costs of the monitoring process, the economic impact is expected to be high in EU-Member States. This especially holds true when habitats are to be detected, reported and monitored outside existing protected areas as well. Accordingly, the sustainability of the MS.MONINA approach is high and competitiveness of the participating European value-adding companies will be enhanced. The market potential expected from MS.MONINA covers several levels of users and potential customers. First of all regional environmental authorities need to comply with their monitoring obligations and are thus inclined to outsource many of the data acquisition and analysis tasks. Best practice examples have shown that new and objective methods based on EO data are welcome and already play an important role for selected users. Nevertheless most regional users wait for a more standardised European approach that will benefit from a project like this. On higher levels environmental authorities need to control the impacts and results of their directives and other legislative measures. Ultimately, the project strives to install EO technology as a key element in the monitoring routines for sites and landscapes which harbour threatened habitats in Europe and beyond.
In the following three sections we summarize the main dissemination activities (initial, regular, final) and how results were exploited.
2 INITIAL SETUP OF TOOLS FOR COOPERATION AND DISSEMINATION
2.1 MS.MONINA WEBSITES, FLYERS, EVENT CALENDAR
The MS.MONINA website and flyers aimed at communicating and disseminating project achievements to the target audience. The website (see www.ms-monina.eu) includes information on the project and its background and provides access to project documents. It also hosts the MS.MONINA map viewer and the geoportal including the geodata catalogue.
An MS.MONINA flyer was designed right at the beginning of the project. It contained basic information on the scope and the objectives of the project. An updated and more detailed version of the flyer was produced in the mid-term of the project, with information on the three-levelled service, the geoportal usage, and the body of knowledge and the role of user validation.
At the beginning of the project an event calendar was set up, to document and advertise project related events. The calendar was/is available through the project website.
2.2 IPR STRATEGY & SCIENTIFIC DISSEMINATION PLAN
A roadmap for scientific dissemination and the specification and refinement of IPR strategies pursued by the MS.MONINA consortium was laid out. The IPR strategy was derived by a survey based on semantic differential that was carried out among partners. The aim was to set up a clearer understanding of individual (i.e. partner‐related) strategies with respect to publishing or protecting developments made in the context of MS.MONINA in the sense of article II.30 of the Grant Agreement. In particular, in setting up a IPR strategy and scientific dissemination plan (Del 8.1) we followed the following objectives:
• Setting up a roadmap for scientific dissemination with milestones (i.e. conferences, workshops, and other events) and a selection of potential (high‐level) publication media.
• Gaining a differentiated view on each partner’s IPR strategy and respective interests, and analysing these individual views per partner group (i.e. academia/research, SME, users).
• Setting the starting point for a project‐specific, yet GMES‐compatible, pan‐consortium IPR policy accommodating and balancing scientific and commercial from the partners involved.
Please note that the nature of the respective Del 8.1 has been changed from PU (Public) to RE (Restricted) due to its sensitive content.
3 REGULAR DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIES (INCLUDING POLICY-ORIENTED MEDIA)
3.1 MS.MONINA FACTSHEET
The two-page MS.MONINA Fact Sheet was part of the communication material prepared to disseminate project objectives and achievements. It is especially dedicated to user organisation and authorities on various levels to inform them about the project scope and the intended outcome in a concise and non-scientific style. The first page features a description of the project’s background and the service portfolio as a GMES ‘Downstream Service’. It also provides dedicated answers to questions concerning goals of the project, its importance for Europe, and the benefits for European citizens. The second page contains more specific information about the project, such as the list of partners, the coordinator, contract number, duration, and EC funding. The Fact Sheet was also included in a brochure presenting projects funded under FP7 SPACE, which has been prepared by DG Enterprise and Industry.
Note that the Fact Sheet was merged with the policy briefs (see Del 8.9 below) to come with a final Service Info Sheet that includes high-level information about the entire service portfolio.
3.2 MS.MONINA NEWSLETTERS
In regular time intervals, a Newsletter was published and circulated to some 80 receipients from academia, industry, administration and policy. In total four newsletter were compiled during the lifetime of the project, and a last one is planned to be sent out after the final dissemination workshop in Jan 2014.
• Newsletter 1: May 2011
• Newsletter 2: Jan 2012
• Newsletter 3: Oct 2012
• Newsletter 4: Nov 2013
[• Newsletter 5: after project closure]
3.3 MS.MONINA POLICY BRIEF AND WHITE PAPER
A policy brief was created in Feb 2012 following a request raised during negotiations. The document addressed Commission members, authorities, and potentially Parliamentarians. The second version, to be issued by the end of the project for distribution at the final dissemination workshop, is a blend between a fact sheet and this policy brief style. It contains the most important facts of the service portfolio, presented in a graphical way and with some basic figures on service costs.
Upon request by the Commission, and together with sister project BIO_SOS, a comprehensive White Paper has been compiled. The document entitled ‘Copernicus Biodiversity Monitoring Services: The FP7 SPACE projects perspective’ contains information on the specific and wider policy context as the larger societal framework. It then specifically presents and discusses the service developments and specificities of the two projects, namely the (1) BIO_SOS EODHaM system and (2) the MS.MONINA habitat mapping and assessment service.
The White Paper can be downloaded from the MS.MONINA webpage under ‘Documents’.
3.4 SERVICE ONLINE HANDBOOK AND SERVICE INFO SHEET
The service portfolio online handbook (Del 8.9*) is a self-explaining, graphically presented workflow for illustrating and advertising the pre-operational services developed within the lifetime of the project. This handbook is accessible through the MS.MONINA website.
As an additional activity, a Service Info Sheet has been prepared. This compendium provides information on how services are designed in terms of satellite data acquisition and processing, as well as the involved information extraction workflow. Also prices are roughly indicated. The info sheet can be downloaded from the MS.MONINA webpage under ‘Documents’.
3.5 SPECIAL ISSUE IN AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL
A Special Issue in the International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation (JAG) is dedicated to ‘Earth observation for habitat mapping and biodiversity monitoring’. The Call for Papers is open to the community-at-large, but specifically encourages contributions from FP7 SPACE projects MS.MONINA and BIO_SOS.
4 USER AND NETWORKING WORKSHOPS
4.1 USER WORKSHOPS
The first User Workshop was held in Salzburg in Dec 2010, attached to the MS.MONINA kick‐off meeting. The aim of this workshop was to initiate the user engagement programme. The project consortium itself hosted four user organisations, namely INBO, EKBY, LLUR and CEN‐LR, all present at the workshop. Besides that, three Austrian users were invited to represent different levels of user organisations (Austrian Environment Agency, Provincial Government Salzburg, Kalkalpen National Park). Users that were not able to attend the meeting due to the short planning period did expressed their interest in the project and agreed on being represented by the respective service provider (SP) as nominated in the service level agreements (SLAs). A moderated session was conducted to collect user requirements from both an overall relevance and technical requirements point of view, independently from the actual services being provided (which were presented later on). The collected items were sorted according to similarities and overlaps and then elaborated in three parallel working groups. The groups came up with a more consolidated and detailed version of the initial collections. Finally, the results of the group work were presented and the plenum was given the opportunity to come up with final statements.
A 2nd User Workshop took place on the 24th of October 2012 in Málaga, Spain. Its aim was to present preliminary service definitions to a group of invited users and to showcase some information products related to the selected pilot sites. The user requirements collected so far were presented to stimulate discussions between regional, national and European users and service providers. The outcome of the workshop was taken into account by the MS.MONINA consortium in the further course of the project.
The following summarizes the outcomes of the second MS.MONINA user workshop:
• Implementation of EO-based services is currently hindered by a lack of resources, a lack of common approaches at the different levels of environmental administration and a lack of acceptance by specific users groups.
• These obstacles can be overcome by taking advantage of the benefits provided by EO-based services that specifically address the bottlenecks in the current workflows of the users.
A fundamental output of the workshop was a compliance matrix, which has been filled by the participating users and service providers to identify MS.MONINA services that meet the user’s requirements in solving the current bottlenecks in habitat mapping
4.2 NETWORKING WORKSHOPS
A first networking workshop was held between geoland2, MS.MONINA and the EAGLE group. From the MS.MONINA point of view, the main intention was: (1) To inform the EAGLE group about the service portfolio of MS.MONINA in addition to the High‐resolution Layers (HRL, EUROLAND) and the Area Frame Sampling (SATCHMO) results of geoland2; (2) To receive feedback from the expert audience (including MS experts) on the intended services; (3) To discuss in detail with service providers from geoland2 about the potential interlinkages between Euroland and Satchmo products with the MS.MONINA services on all three levels.
In order to benefit from potential synergies between MS.MONINA and NATURE-SDIplus ( eContentplus), a joint workshop was organized for representatives of these initiatives. The event with NATURE-SDIplus has been linked to its final workshop held in June 2011. NATURE-SDIplus particularly focused on the importance of spatial data for conservation activities and the expectations and affordances of relevant stakeholders in the field with respect to the development of a “Nature-SDI” in Europe. This spatial data infrastructure ultimately aims at supporting users to efficiently handle spatial data, i.e. to acquire, distribute, use, maintain and preserve spatial data. The subsequent discussion with the experts of NATURE-SDIplus provided the possibility to exchange results and experiences. MS.MONINA also joined the NATURE-SDIplus Network and took the opportunity to register as a best practice in the NATURE-SDIplus Best Practice Catalogue. The Nature-SDIplus Network aims, through state-of-the-art methodologies and best practice examples, to improve harmonisation of national datasets and make them more accessible and exploitable.
Another networking workshop was held together with EBONE (FP-7 ENV) in February 2012 in Brussels. The overall aim was to calibrate the existing knowledge and technological achievements in habitat and biodiversity mapping, supported by EO technologies. This went beyond the challenges for actual mapping using satellite data and includes the potential of data integration and knowledge-based systems.
4.3 FINAL DISSEMINATION WORKSHOP
The final dissemination workshop was organised by MS.MONINA with support of BIO_SOS and held in Brussels 26 Nov 2013. The workshop intended discuss with users engaged on different levels the organisational and technological advances and the usability of the MS.MONINA service portfolio. Users had the chance to share with the audience their first-hand experience of MS.MONINA services developed for their specific case. Based on the service portfolio presentation and the users’ experience, the participants will discuss the outcomes achieved in MS.MONINA and remaining challenges in the field of EO based habitat monitoring. Particularly, the participants could obtain detailed information about the MS.MONINA EU.Service and comment on its benefits and shortcomings. A moderated session requested answers to the following (bound) questions:
• What / whom do you represent (Service Provider, EU-level user, State-level user, Site-level user, other)
• I have considered implementing EO-based services in my domain (Yes/No)
• The two main benefits of EO-based services in habitat monitoring (Frequent updates, No limitations due to site accessibility, Cost efficiency, Area-wide coverage, Harmonized data source, Inter-comparable results, other)
• The two main bottlenecks for service implementation in user workflows (Reliability of products, (EO) data availability, Limited information on general capacity, Limited information on pricing, Replacement of well-established methods , User detached from process, other)
Next to detailed reflection on the items discussed, the results revealed that frequent updates, area-wide coverage and inter-comparable results are the major assets of (intended) EO-based services. With respect to the main bottlenecks faced in hindering service implementations in existing workflows, the following items gained highest attention: reliability of products and EO data availability in general.
List of Websites:
Dr Stefan Lang
Paris-Lodron University Salzburg (PLUS)
Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS
Grant agreement ID: 263479
1 December 2010
30 November 2013
€ 2 528 215,70
€ 1 963 037,20
This project is featured in...
Deliverables not available
Grant agreement ID: 263479
1 December 2010
30 November 2013
€ 2 528 215,70
€ 1 963 037,20
This project is featured in...
Grant agreement ID: 263479
1 December 2010
30 November 2013
€ 2 528 215,70
€ 1 963 037,20