Introducing enviroLENS to the European, North and Central Asian Conservation Community

Introducing enviroLENS to the European, North and Central Asian Conservation Community

Learning about Earth Observation and the potential its tools offer © BLINKfotografie

Reliable, cost-effective and easy-to-use data for monitoring of environmental compliance is becoming more and more pertinent. Innovative solutions and technologies, such as Earth Observation tools, can fill critical data and information gaps, especially where human and financial resources are scarce. Uniting Earth Observation tools with the environmental law and legal domain provides novel and unique types of services that enable a number of actors to promote and advocate for legal compliance.  

Two representatives from the enviroLENS team were present at the IUCN Regional Conservation Forum for Europe, North and Central Asia that took place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, 1 – 3 July 2019, and put on display our new informative project poster. The interest shown throughout the event demonstrated that the project is particularly relevant for the conservation community. More than 320 participants, arriving from all corners of Europe as well as from North and Central Asia, had the chance to learn about the powerful tools that enviroLENS is currently developing.

“As an NGO engaged with nature conservation in Albania for the last 20 years, we see a great potential of eLENS portal,” said Genti Kromidha, President of the Institute for Nature Conservation in Albania. “It could impact our on-the-ground action significantly and empower civil society organizations, by providing the tools that could be used for advocacy and lobbying to end any illegal activities observed,” he added.

Genti Kromidha introducing several activities in Albania © INCA

Participants of the Forum called for bold action to achieve transformative change. This goes hand-in-hand with technological innovations that can be applied across sectors. enviroLENS, thus, offers a unique opportunity to bring the potential of European satellites – Copernicus – to the environmental legal domain. In this way, the conservation community can benefit from access to relevant, easy-to-use Earth Observation tools, to achieve legal compliance in support of the protection of biodiversity and vital ecosystems – for instance in relation to activities in and/or around protected areas.   

IUCN Regional Conservation Forum, Rotterdam © BLINKfotograife

Algorithms, methods, flows and services… building the eLENS Portal

Algorithms, methods, flows and services… building the ELENS portal

enviroLENS is responding to the demands of the jurisdictional sector for ready-to-access evidence and scenario information on environmental situations. Its main technological innovation will be the eLENS Portal, an advanced information system uniting Earth Observation (EO) with the environmental law and legal domain. It will create novel and unique types of services, by:

  • providing public information on environmental violations for citizens and authorities;
  • facilitating evidence collection within the legal sector; and
  • offering an interface for EO-based services that monitor past and current environmental incidences. Furthermore, an alert service will notify immediately about violations.

Technical partners have designed a roadmap for the development of eLENS Portal, supposing the contribution from each in their area of excellence. Under the coordination of GeoVille, these technical wizards have agreed on the next steps during a meeting at Sinergise HQ in Ljubljana, Slovenia, 17-18 June 2019.

JSI will continue to work on data semantics. Sinergise will focus on EO-Toolset while AUTH dives into EO modelling and essential variables algorithms. “We have started to work on eLENS Miner, and the challenge there for us is to find ways to combine databases of statutory documents from all over the world and put them to work. Our aim is to semantically analyse legal texts and use them to access, reuse, and create knowledge, which is interconnected with the available solution in the EO domain. Exciting times ahead!” says Florian Girtler (GeoVille), Software developer and technical coordinator for enviroLENS.