GlobWetland Africa was initiated by ESA to facilitate the exploitation of satellite observations for the conservation, wise use, and effective management of wetlands in Africa.
GlobWetland Africa was initiated to facilitate the exploitation of satellite observations for the conservation, wise use, and effective management of wetlands in Africa. It has provided (African) users with an open-source and free-of-charge software toolbox for the end-to-end processing of an extensive portfolio of EO products and the subsequent derivation of spatial and temporal indicators on wetland status and trends from local to basin scales. The ultimate goal was to support African stakeholders with the necessary EO methods and tools to better fulfil their commitments and obligations towards the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
The broad scope of information products meant the project was demonstrated only on a site-by-site basis across wetlands in Africa. However, during GlobWetland Africa, it has become increasingly apparent that there is a need to support African countries to conduct complete national wetland inventories. This is required for them to meet their obligations towards the Ramsar convention and, in particular, the SDGs' monitoring requirements. Limited bandwidths in many parts of Africa prevent effective and instant access to the vast amounts of data required to perform EO-based national wetland inventories, and why cloud-based services should be promoted to bring the users to the data.
In response to these requirements and challenges, the GlobWetland Africa - Extension on Wetland Inventory addressed the extension of the toolbox functionality to the cloud. In addition, the project supported countries with guidelines and tools to perform EO-based national wetland inventorying to meet their reporting requirements towards Ramsar and the SDGs. Besides the enhancement and succeeding validation of the existing algorithms making use of physical-based modelling and AI-based data processing, the main activities focused on the review of data access options and conditions (i.e., via big data platforms), the implementation of an API/cloud-based processing scenario suitable for countries that lack the required ICT capacity for in-house processing, the implementation of post-processing workflows and reporting modules for users to correct the EO pre-inventory, testing the data access scenario as well as additional capacity-building activities.