Apr 25, 2017

GAF and partners awarded contract to map European riparian zones

(Munich, 25 April 2017) A European consortium headed by GAF AG has been awarded a contract by the European Environment Agency (EEA) to implement the geographic extension (2012) and complete update (2018) of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service’s Riparian Zones dataset. The project team consists of four experienced European service providers: GAF (Germany), e-Geos (Italy), GeoVille (Austria) and Indra (Spain). The consortium has signed a €4.2 million framework service contract with the EEA.

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As part of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service’s Local Component, the consortium will provide mapping and consultancy services to EEA, delivering a consistent spatial extension and thematic update (for the reference year 2018) of the very-high resolution characterisation of riparian zones for most of Europe, including Turkey (i.e. the 39 EEA member and cooperating countries). Based on optical satellite imagery with very high spatial resolution, the consortium will produce the following, complementary riparian data layers:

  • Very-high-resolution land cover/land use in a riparian buffer zone for the reference year 2012, extending the existing riparian zones product further upstream by adding all Strahler level 2 rivers;
  • Very-high-resolution land cover/land use update of the entire pan-European riparian zones coverage of Strahler level 2-9 rivers for the reference year 2018.

Riparian zones are among the most sensitive ecosystem and biodiversity hotspots in Europe. The extended and updated dataset will assist with the systematic assessment and monitoring of related freshwater ecosystems and riverine habitats. It will specifically provide support to the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 and the related Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services (MAES) as well as the associated Green Infrastructure and Restoration objectives, the Habitats and Birds Directives, the Water Framework Directive and the European Floods Directive.

Markus Probeck – GAF’s programme manager for Copernicus services – remarks: “By also adding small river categories, this initiative will significantly increase the added value of the EEA’s unique riparian zones dataset across Europe. GAF and its partners are very pleased to be entrusted with this latest Copernicus Land Monitoring Service implementation.”

GAF is responsible for the overall project and quality management as well as for producing the very-high resolution land cover/land use product update.

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