Bruxelles, 27 September 2018

ECOPOTENTIAL has been presented at the EUROPEAN Parliament during the event "Science for Post 2020 Environmental Targets - Insights from Earth Observation of Protected Areas", on Sept 27th.
The event has been chaired by MEPs Ricardo Serrão Santos and Sirpa Pietikäinen and has been organized in collaboration with the NGO EBCD, which serves as the secretariat of the Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development of the European Parliament.
The event brought to the attention of Parliament the findings and recommendations on the conservation of natural ecosystems and the management of European protected areas that emerged in the ECOPOTENTIAL project, with the aim of contributing to providing the scientific knowledge needed to define the future EU policy framework on the conservation of biodiversity and natural ecosystems.
The project coordinator, Antonello Provenzale, and Fiona Danks, Senior Programme Officer for Science of UN Environment/WCMC, presented the project and recommendations to update the European legislation on the management of natural ecosystems based on the results of research activities.
In the discussion following the presentation, the sustainability and effectiveness of European research on biodiversity has been discussed: Possible actions may be the application of the ECOPOTENTIAL methodologies to other protected areas and in particular to the network of NATURA 2000  sites, the need of the COPs on biodiversity and climate to work together and the need of improving the knowledge transfer to policy makers, to protected areas managers and to the wider society, also delivering training and improving the integration of data bases and the link to other networks.
Also, the importance of the contribution of ECOPOTENTIAL to the EUROGEOSS Initiative has been highlighted.

Here you can read the policy brief background document


Lingen (Germany), 25 September 2018

Advances in nature conservation using Earth observation data concern the whole society! On 25th of September, Osnabrück University of Applied  Sciences and IHK Osnabrück - Emsland - Grafschaft Bentheim hosted a short presentation event on scientific projects from the region Osnabrück/Lingen (Germany) and their implications for enterprises and the society.
ECOPOTENTIAL was presented by Niels Hellwig. Reference to this event (in German):


Brussels, EU Parliament (Members’ salon), 22 November 2018

The new COPERNICUS4REGIONS publication will be launched on November 22nd 2018 at the Members’ salon of the EU Parliament in Brussels.
The publication collects success stories about the use of Copernicus data, and Sentinel data in particular, for concrete needs of regional policy making and/or enforcement, ideally on regional responses to EU directives. It describes sound and mature EO-based solutions that effectively respond toregional challenges. four ECOPOTENTIAL – related articles, namely about the use of Earth Observation in the EODESM System and for the management of the Gran Paradiso NP (IT), the Wadden Sea (NL) and Samaria NP (GR) protected areas, have been selected and included  in the COPERNICUS4REGIONS book.


Birmingham, 4-7 September 2018

The UK National Earth Observation Conference 2018 – hosted by the Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society; the National Centre for Earth Observation and the Centre for Earth Observation Instrumentation – took place in Birmingham Edgbaston from 4th – 7th September.
The conference was focused around Earth Observation science, technology and applications Into the Future. The programme included exhibitions and poster sessions, a school conference (7th September), plus plenary and parallel sessions.
The NCEO, CEOI and RSPSoc hosted the UK National Earth Observation Conference from 4-7 September at Birmingham University, with the topic “Earth Observation into the future”. The declared aim has been to deliver a conference which attracts a significant gathering of the UK EO community across research, government and industry. It is clear the involvement of the Earth Observation community in planning the content of the conference, and designed sessions to encompass all aspects of Earth Observation – science, technology, and applications.
Some ECOPOTENTIAL project poster were presented; they coverered the project background and structure, and included three case studies, around seasonal wetlands, nitrogen deposition and freshwater catchments.

Gran Paradiso National Park., 4-7 September 2018

Gran Paradiso National Park successfully organised a training course on the use of EODESM (Earth Observation Data for Ecosystem Monitoring), the web-based system aimed to automatic land cover classification from Remote Sensing data, based on the FAO classification system.  The course has been taught by the ECOPOTENTIAL researcher prof. Richard Lucas.
The course was aimed to train on the use of the EODESM system the Gran Paradiso technical staff, and it was based on hands-on training + one field trip for testing the EODESM mobile app for on-site land cover classification, which can also be used for “ground-trouthing” the satellite-based classification.

From October 25th to November 4th, the 16th edition of the Genoa Science Festival, the most important Science Festival in Italy, will host the H2020 ECOPOTENTIAL photo exhibition, with the title: "Uno sguardo dal cielo - I cambiamenti degli ecosistemi visti dai satellelliti" (“A glimpse from the Sky – Ecosystem Changes from Satellites”). The ECOPOTENTIAL photo exhibition, already displaied at the European Parliament and in other locations in Europe, shows how climate and anthropic pressures affect natural ecosystems in 24 among the most important protected areas in Europe and beyond, and the research done in the project. Beautiful pictures and satellite images illustrate how researchers and protected areas managers are working together to study and preserve natural ecosystems.
European protected areas represent a priceless heritage: they are open-air laboratories that allow to study and enjoy the few poorly anthropized ecosystems still remaining. Often hotspots  of the changes taking place on our planet, natural ecosystems record what happens to vegetation, soil, ice, lakes and rivers’ bottom, and animal populations.
New Earth Observation systems allow to detect these changes with unprecedented frequency, resolution and spatial amplitude. These are the ESA Sentinel missions, supporting the European Copernicus programme, the most ambitious Earth Observation system ever realized. About 50 partners of the largest EU project on ecosystems - ECOPOTENTIAL - analyse Sentinel data to understand how natural ecosystems are changing as a result of climate change, pollution and human activities. The Alpine forests are changing because of a beetle attacking the bark of spruces; the glaciers are retreating; trees are replacing abandoned pastures, creating possible problems for wild ungulates and generating different equilibria.
Satellite data allow to detect these changes by measuring variables such as vegetation distribution, chlorophyll, snow cover, flooded surface, soil humidity and temperature, glacier extent, land use, providing information to understand causes and propose appropriate conservation strategies.
More information at: and


Brussels, 5-7 November 2018

The SWOS Project Wetlands are hotspots of biodiversity, home to more than 100,000 freshwater species, provide invaluable ecosystem services, such as regulating water availability and quality and food for millions of people. They also absorb shocks from natural events and regulate the climate through carbon storage. Despite all this they are one of the world’s fastest declining ecosystems. Ignorance and misunderstanding of their role therefore results in limited coverage of wetlands in policies and management practices. Information on wetlands is often sparse and difficult to find or access. The  project fills the information gap, generating information on wetland ecosystems using the new possibilities offered by free satellite data.

In this context, we would like to invite you to , one a Training Workshop presenting a unique opportunity to familiarise yourself with SWOS and the SWOS portal in practical user workshops and the other a Final Conference discussing the current trends affecting wetlands and the benefits of earth observation and SWOS to wetland managers, policy-makers and scientists.

What’s the Training Workshop about?5-6 November: a workshop on SWOS and the SWOS portal in which participants can familiarise themselves with the various aspects of SWOS in an interactive and dynamic ‘World Cafe’ format. The purpose of the training workshop is to teach users how to apply and work with satellite data for wetland monitoring, restoration and management, how to use the SWOS service components (maps and indicators, software tools and the portal) and to demonstrate how to integrate SWOS products into selected service cases (e.g. Ramsar or SDG 6.6.1 reporting).The workshop will offer different training sessions according to participants’ different levels of pre-existing knowledge and tasks that the participants have to fulfil within their user organisation. The workshop will offer several sessions, from how to find satellite data to training on indicators and use cases, including nomenclatures, metadata, software and user portal functions.

Why attend? Learn new skills in wetland satellite observation and receive guidance from experts on using the SWOS portal tailored to you based on your prior knowledge. Engage with experts familiar with the challenges to wetland management and the role of earth observation, free satellite data and SWOS in providing evidence for appropriate policy solutions.

What’s the Final conference about?7 November: a full-day conference on the current threats and trends affecting wetlands and the role of SWOS in filling the information gap on wetlands as well as fact-based evidence for appropriate policy responses. The conference will draw speakers from the worlds of science, policy and wetland management.

Why attend? Brush up your knowledge on wetland science, observation and management. Meet policy-makers, managers and scientists engaged with wetland observation and management. Contribute to the debate on wetland management and earth observation for the protection of wetland biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Register Now!


Kathrin Weise | Jena-Optronik GmbH Otto-Eppenstein-Str. 3, 07745 Jena| Phone +49 3641 200160| Fax +49 3641 200220 | email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Remotely sensed Earth Observations (EO) data have already exceeded the petabyte-scale and are increasingly freely and openly available from different data holdings. This poses a certain number of issues in terms of volume (e.g., data volumes have increased 10x in the last 5 years); velocity (e.g., Sentinel-2 is capturing a new image of any given place every 5 days); and variety (e.g., different types of sensors, spatial/spectral resolutions). Traditional approaches to the acquisition, management, distribution and analysis of EO data have limitations (e.g., data size, heterogeneity and complexity) that impede their true information potential to be realized.

The fact that the full information potential of EO data has not yet been realized and therefore remains still underutilized is explained by various reasons: (1) It requires scientific knowledge to understand what data is needed… optical (which resolution?), radar (which type?); (2) It is difficult to access and download the increasing volumes of data generated by satellites; (3) there is a lack of expertise and computing resources to efficiently prepare and utilize EO data; (4) the particular structure of EO data; and (5) the significant effort and cost required to store and process data limit its effective use.

Addressing Big Data challenges such as volume, velocity and variety, requires a change of paradigm and moving away from traditional local processing and data distribution methods to lower the barriers caused by data size and related complications in data management. In particular, data volume and velocity will continue to grow as the demands increase for decision-support information derived from these data.

To tackle these issues and bridge the gap between users’ expectations and current Big Data analytical capabilities, EO Data Cubes (EODC) are a new paradigm revolutionizing the way users can interact with EO data and a promising solution to store, organize, manage and analyze EO data. The main objective of EODC is to facilitate EO data usage by addressing volume, velocity, variety challenges and providing access to large spatio-temporal data in an analysis ready format.

Different EODC implementations are currently operational such as Digital Earth Australia, the Swiss Data Cube, the EarthServer, the E-sensing platform or the Google Earth Engine. These initiatives are paving the way to broaden the use of EO data to larger communities of users; support decision-makers with timely and actionable information converted into meaningful geophysical variables; and ultimately are unlocking the information power of EO data.

This Special Issue is consequently aiming to cover the most recent advances in EODC developments and implementations and welcomes contributions with respect to (but without being restricted to):

• Methods for generating Analysis Ready Data for both optical and SAR imagery

• Interoperability challenges between EO Data Cubes

• Algorithms for generating decision-ready products

• Data fusion techniques in EO Data Cubes

• Data mining using Machine Learning, Deep Learning, …

• Data quality, reliability, …

• Cost/Benefits analysis of EO Data Cubes

• Thematic applications (e.g. biodiversity, climate, health, natural hazards, …) using EO Data Cubes

• New innovative tools and solutions to work with EO Data Cubes

• Use of high to very-high resolution EO data

• Integration of in-situ observations

• Local, national, regional implementations

• Cloud-based computing

• Architecture design of EO Data Cubes (HPC, Distributed Computing, Super Computers)

• Capacity building and training

• Support to policy framework such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris agreement, Aichi targets, or Water Framework Directive

• Links with initiatives like Copernicus or the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).

Guest Editors:

Dr. Gregory Giuliani (University of Geneva & GRID/Geneva)
Dr. Brian Killough (NASA/CEOS)
Dr. Stuart Minchin (Geoscience Australia)
Prof. Dr. Gilberto Camara (Group on Earth Observations)

Important dates:

• September 1, 2018: Launch of the Call for Papers
• December 31, 2018: Deadline for abstract submission (800-word) to guest editors
• January 15, 2018: Notification of abstract acceptance and full paper submission invitation
• April 30, 2019: Deadline for submission
• June 30, 2019: Revision/rejection notification
• October 31, 2019: Paper acceptance notification

More information & submission:

Do not hesitate to spread the word around you and share this announcement.


Dr. Gregory Giuliani
Lecturer in Earth Observations - UNIGE
Head of the Digital Earth Unit - GRID-Geneva

EU Parliament, Brussels, 27th September 2018

The science-policy briefing event “Science for Post 2020 Environmental Targets – Insights from Earth Observation of Protected Areas” for the EU Parliament will take place on the 27th of September 2018 (09:00-11:00). At the event, the most relevant ECOPOTENTIAL key findings for post 2020 environmental strategies will be presented.

The event will be chaired by MEPs Ricardo Serrão Santos and Sirpa Pietikäinen and is organized in cooperation with EBCD which serves as the secretariat of the European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development.

Event description:
New generations of satellites and scientific developments are opening vast opportunities for monitoring and understanding nature and biodiversity. As we approach 2020 when strategies such as the EU Biodiversity Strategy end, it is necessary to prepare the EU’s future policy framework, in which science should play an important role. Some challenges in preserving biodiversity and achieving policy targets could be mitigated through further use of Earth Observation. This event will highlight findings of the ECOPOTENTIAL project, which supports the use of Earth Observation in Protected Areas across Europe and beyond, and present perspectives on future biodiversity frameworks and targets.

Following the successful event organised in 2016 and attended by 3000 participants, the forth European Space Agency Living Planet Symposium 2019 (LPS19) is coming.

The Symposium, organised with the support of the Italian Space Agency, will be held in Milan, Italy, from 13-17 May 2019.
The focus of the event is on how Earth Observation contributes to science and society, and how disruptive technologies and actors are changing the traditional Earth observation landscape, which is also creating new opportunities for public and private sector interactions.

Please, note down the following important dates:

    Deadline for abstract submissions: 11 November 2018
    Deadline for registration: 30 April 2019

For more information and to submit a contribution, please visit:

PhD scholarships (4 years) are available at the Marine Research Institute (Klaipeda University, Lithuania). Among 10 selected topics in marine ecology, policy and management are available for 2018 call, among which topics on Ecological modelling and also Assessment and modelling of ecosystem services in coastal lagoons. Info at: Deadline: 21/09/2018.

Turco M., Jerez S., Doblas-Reyes F. J., AghKouchak A., LIasat M. C. & Provenzale A. (2018). Skilful forecasting of global fire activity using seasonal climate predictions. Nature Communications, 9, doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-05250-0.

The ECOPOTENTIAL team is proud to announce a new ECOPOTENTIAL project-related publication, with exciting application potential, in the Open Access journal Nature Communications.
Large fires can pose a threat to societies on their frontline. The ability to estimate fire activity in advance, through fire seasonal forecasts, stands to reduce exposure to damaging effects of fire. This publication discusses a means to combine climate-fire models with a precipitation index to produce a climate predictor.
Please, go and have a look yourself:

Grand Hotel of Ceresole Reale, Gran Paradiso National Park, 10 -18 July, 2018

The ECOPOTENTIAL photo exhibition is being hosted in the hall of the Grand Hotel of Ceresole Reale in the hearth of Gran Paradiso National Park (Turin) for the Summer 2018. The exhibition has been installed on the occasion of the "Critical Zone and Ecosystem Dynamics" Summer School that took place at the Grand Hotel from July 10th to July 18th 2018.
Please, see on this site the related news regarding the "Critical Zone and Ecosystem Dynamics" Summer School:

38th Annual EARSeL Symposium, Chania, Crete, Greece, 9-12 July 2018
ECOPOTENTIAL has been widely presented at the 38th annual symposium of the European Association of Remote Sensing that has taken place in Chania (GR). ECOPOTENTIAL partners from Ben Gurion University, CERTH, FORTH, and EURAC were there presenting results achieved in the framework of ECOPOTENTIAL research. The ECOPOTENTIAL photo exhibition is still on going with numerous attendees. All the attendees had the chance to know more about ECOPOTENTIAL. The symposium had 16 keynote speakers and about 250 participants with high calibre presentations.
Discussions seemed not to have an ending in the EARSeL NASA joint Workshop sessions, and all sessions were at least 30 minutes prolonged. EU and US scientists were highly engaged and interacted. Representation of the Italian Space Agency gave also a good contribution to the brand new MedRIN (Mediterranean Information Network), established by Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Turkey and Italy with the support of NASA to tackle issues about Land Cover and Land Use remote sensing applications towards the WEF nexus. MedRIN shall seek acknowledgement by GOFC GOLD as one of its global networks. Matters shall develop fast next months. All info at

Thanks to the initiative of the  ECOPOTENTIAL partner Ioannis Manakos, the H2020 ECOPOTENTIAL photo exhibition was presented in the Mediterranean Architecture Centre (KAM) in the  Great Shipyard ("Megalo Arsenali") of the old town of Chania.  The exhibition is in framework of the 38th Annual EARSeL Symposium Earth Observation Supporting Sustainability Research, 9-12 July 2018 Chania, Crete, Greece.  The exhibition has been a great opportunity to promote ECOPOTENTIAL.


Thanks to their storymap on the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals, Levi Westerveld and Bjorn Alfthan won the 2nd place under the Conservation, Environment and Sustainability category of the 2018 ESRI Storytelling with Maps Award.

A link to all the winners can be found here:

The specific link to the mentioned storymap can be found here:

The winners expect that this award will also increase the visibility and viewing of the storymap, helping to reach more people.

Congratulations to the winners!

The photo exhibition on mountain ecosystems organized as part of the NextData project is ready!
The Viote Alpine Botanical Garden of the Science Museum in Trento, one of the oldest and largest in the Alps, will host the exhibition during the summer in a spectacular installation.
The opening of the exhibition entitled "A Mountain of Life - High Altitude Ecosystems and Climate Change" will be held on 22 July at 4 pm.
Through the pictures of nature photographers, who donated their pictures for the exhibition, it will possible to know more about the main types of Italian mountain ecosystems and the differences between various regions and altitudes, the main characteristics of ecosystems and the adaptations of plants and animals to the difficult conditions encountered, the relationships between the components of ecosystems and the complex interaction between human activities and mountain environment.
We expect a large attendance! Please confirm your presence by sending an email to assunta.donato(at)igg.cnr(dot)it.

Download here the playbill.


The registration for the EuroGEOSS Workshop expires on June 29.

The workshop will take place in Geneva, Switzerland on the 12-14 September at the University of Geneva and the Museum of Ethnography.

The event is co-organised by the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, the European Commission with the support of the University of Geneva.

Everyone can find a draft agenda and further details of the venue and logistic information on EC website on Full details of the proposed parallel sessions are on the REGISTRATION PAGE.

Please, register by June 29.

The direct link to the registration webpage can be found here:

For any questions, everyone can contact EC Organising Committee on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



The ECOPOTENTIAL photo exhibition “SPACED”  is now on display in the Atrium of the the Directorate-General for Environment of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium until the 22nd of June.
Stunning photos, satellite imagery and stories, ‘SPACED’ shows how protected area managers and scientists are working together to protect some of Europe’s most iconic protected areas.
The target audience is non-experts on the use of Earth Observation and policy makers.

On 24 May 2018, in the Castello di Otranto, the University of Salento and the Museum of Ecology of Mediterranean Ecosystems met over 120 students from Italian and European secondary schools for the final event of the ecology competitions held during the 2017/2018 school year.

Under the guidance of Professor Alberto Basset and his research group, the University of Salento has for years been engaged in the design and organization of national and international competitions for secondary school students, including "Ecopotential 4 Schools", the scientific competition that, relying on the spirit of competition, offers an additional motivation to approach the study of natural sciences and, in particular, ecology.
The ECOPOTENTIAL4SCHOOLS 2018 Tournament involved a total of 15 teams from 6 schools and two countries, Italy and Romania.

The GIMNAZIALĂ School of Bucharest is the winner of this first edition.

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