Increasing pressure on nature due to anthropogenic drivers is leading to a reduction of global biodiversity and its associated benefits at the planetary scale. In coastal environments, the most important direct drivers of biodiversity loss are fishing, land and sea use, climate change and pollution. These drivers have accelerated in the last 50 years, and they are predicted to continue, despite international efforts in the last decades. To guide further action, it is therefore urgent and important to develop “fit-for-purpose” observation tools. These observations should be capable of assessing and monitoring how the community structure and function of coastal ecosystems will respond to the anthropogenic and natural drivers in a changing climate.
BiCOME aims to develop and provide the necessary evidence and promote a set of global Earth Observation products for biodiversity science and policy for the coastal zone. In particular this project will:
- Identify and characterise critical applications (Pilot Studies) of remote sensing to study coastal biodiversity.
- Evaluate existing and planned sensor capabilities for each Pilot Study.
- Engage with the community of biodiversity stakeholders (scientific and policy makers) and the remote sensing community throughout the project.
- Define the activities necessary to utilise current and planned sensors to detect measures of marine biodiversity; or define new approaches, if the existing ones are not considered capable to fulfil the targeted science objectives.