Closing the Information Gap: Using Space-based EO for Wetland Mapping and Monitoring – March 2021

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Practice area: Space
Client: UK Space Agency
Published: 29 March, 2021
Keywords: Data EO NSIP report Satellite Space Whitepaper

Climate change is an increasingly pressing threat for mankind, and the UK Government clearly recognises that. Environmental and emission reduction policies are being put in place and financial incentives are being introduced across the country as part of efforts to tackle the problem head on.

In this whitepaper we discuss the potential of wetlands, both in the UK and worldwide, to contribute to these efforts. Unfortunately, this potential is currently being vastly under-utilised, with wetlands across the UK being used in environmentally destructive ways or otherwise allowed to degrade. Despite government, general public, and scientific support, a lack of cost-effective information-gathering techniques are to blame.

Funders of environmental projects need robust, transparent, independent, and credible information about the ongoing effects of their investment. Furthermore, proposed projects require detailed information to identify the most suitable areas and opportunities. Current methods of gathering this information are costly, slow, and have high marginal costs when extending coverage areas. Space-based Earth Observation (EO) methods can bring the costs of measurement down while providing high-frequency, scalable information that is substitutable with in-situ activities.

London Economics and ARGANS, with matched funding from the UK Space Agency, are developing a tool to provide precisely this EO data for wetlands. Such a tool can provide significant cost savings to a range of market participants, while simultaneously providing the transparency, independence, robustness, and ultimately credibility that those funding wetlands projects require to invest.

The full white paper can be downloaded at the above link.