Group On Earth Observations banner Group On Earth Observations banner

Ecosystems: Strategic Target

Before 2015, GEO aims to:

Establish, in conjunction with a comprehensive biodiversity observation network, a wide-ranging monitoring capability for all ecosystems and the human impacts on them, to improve the assessment, protection and sustainable management of terrestrial, coastal and marine resources and the delivery of associated ecosystem services.

This will be achieved through:

  • developing and promulgating wider availability of methodologies to understand interactions between human settlements and ecosystems;
  • refinement of techniques for the delivery of ecosystem services;
  • development of tools for decision making in support of the assessment, protection and sustainable management of ecosystems;
  • working with established international monitoring communities and networks.

This will be demonstrated by:

  • Implementation of a global standardised ecosystem classification system and map as a basis for worldwide inventory, assessment and monitoring.
  • Implementation of a global, standardized inventory of major ecosystems and the protected areas within them.
  • Increased operational monitoring of major ecosystems on land on an annual basis, including properties such as land cover type; species composition; vegetation structure, height and age; net ecosystem productivity; and biomass and carbon estimates of vegetation and soils based on remote sensing and sampled in-situ observations using internationally agreed standards.
  • Increased operational monitoring of major marine and coastal ecosystems on an annual basis including properties such as extent, water temperature, salinity, pH and pCO2, phytoplankton species composition and productivity and marine resource stocks, based on remote sensing and sampled in-situ observations using internationally agreed standards.
  • Increased knowledge of environmental flow requirements of river baseflow and peak flow, as well as human requirements for irrigation and power plant cooling water and domestic usage.

Related documents and links