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Treaty Enforcement Services using Earth observation - Wetlands (RAMSAR Convention)

A study done under the Treaty Enforcement Services Using Earth Observation (TESEO) initiative with the objective to explore the potential of satellite imagery to support the implementation of the RAMSAR Convention (Wetlands).

Project References
 Title Treaty Enforcement Services using Earth observation - Wetlands (RAMSAR Convention)
 Programme GSP (General Studies Programme)
 Theme International Conventions
 Cost €250k
 Type Feasibility Study
 Status Completed (2001-2003)
 Sensors ERS-1/2 : SAR
Landsat 4/5 : TM
Landsat 7 : ETM
Landsat1/5 : MSS
Project Description

TESEO-WETLANDS is one of four special projects awarded by the European Space Agency under the Treaty Enforcement Services Using Earth Observation (TESEO) programme, which aims at exploring the potential of Earth Observation (EO) to support the implementation of international environmental treaties of European concern.

Wetlands are areas where water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life. They occur where the water table is at or near the surface of the land, or where the land is covered by shallow water. The Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty adopted on 2 February 1971 in the Iranian city of Ramsar. The Convention entered into force in 1975 and as of 1 February 2000 has 118 Contracting Parties. More than 1000 wetlands have been designated for inclusion in the List of Wetlands of International Importance, covering some 73 million hectares.

The Ramsar Convention takes a broad approach in determining the wetlands which come under its aegis. Wetlands are defined as: "areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six metres".

Half of the world’s wetlands are estimated to have been lost during the 20th century, as land was converted to agricultural and urban areas, or filled to combat diseases such as malaria.

Performing an efficient inventorying of the Ramsar sites and providing an efficient monitoring of their ecological character represent some of the main provisions of the Ramsar Convention and EO technology may play a key role.    


 Results TESEO-WETLAND Final Report
Project Consortium
 Prime contractor MICROSOFT Canada : MICROSOFT Canada
 Subcontractors DB Geoservices : DB Geoservices Inc.
User Partnership
 Users CSE : Centre de Suivi Ecologique
EBD : DoƱana Biological Station (EBD)
NCC : National Capital Commission
Ramsar Bureau : Ramsar Convention Secretariat
WRI : World Resources Institute
Contact Points
 Project Manager Patrick McConnell
20 Colonnade Road, Suite 110
Nepean, Ontario
K2E 7M6
Tel: +613 727-1087
Fax: +613 727-5853
 Technical Officer Diego Fernandez
European Space Agency - ESRIN D/EOP-SEP
Via Galileo Galilei C.P.94
I-00044 Frascati (RM)
Tel: +39 06-941.80676
Fax: +39 06-941.80552
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