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Keynote Lecture


Earth Observation in Service of Terrestrial Ecosystems' Monitoring

Ioannis Manakos
Information Technologies Institute, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas

Brief Bio
Dr. Ioannis Manakos (Mr.) is an Associate Researcher at the Information Technologies Institute of the Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (CERTH/ITI) since 2012. He has worked for 7 years as the Head of the Department of Geoinformation in Environmental Management at the International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM) at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (still an Adjunct Professor there). He carried out his PhD in Forestry at the Technical University of Munich. He has coordinated or participated in more than 36 European and National research and development projects under various funding frameworks (incl. FP6, FP7, H2020). His publication record comprises of numerous articles in renowned Journals, Conferences, and Books (e.g. within the Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing Springer Verlag Book Series), and editorial work (e.g. the recent editing of the Special Issues ‘Remote Sensing in Ecosystem Modelling’ and ‘Sentinel Analysis Ready Data’ of the MDPI Remote Sensing Journal and the ‘Monitoring Land Cover Change: Towards Sustainability’ of the MDPI Land Journal). Within the recently completed BIO_SOS FP7 Space, H2020 ECOPOTENTIAL, and ongoing H2020 E-SHAPE and SnapEarth projects, he developed and applies Earth Observation online data services’ modules and open data cubes for the calculation of Essential Variables related to Protected Areas across Europe and beyond. He chaired the European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL) from 2012 till 2014. He is the active Chairman of the Special Interest Group ‘RS in Land Use & Land Cover’ of the EARSeL. In this framework, he is the co-coordinator of various international Symposiums and Workshops, with the last one being the 3rd EARSeL Land Use Land Cover (LULC) & NASA Land Cover Land Use Cover (LCLUC) Workshop at Chania on July 2018 with the title ‘Land-Use/Cover Change Drivers, Impacts and Sustainability within the Water-Energy-Food Nexus’. He serves as an active contributing member to the GEO Global Ecosystem Initiative (GEO ECO) and in the new Ecosystem Function Working Group (ECOFUN) of the GEO Biodiversity Observation Network Flagship (GEOBON) within the Group on Earth Observations. His activity is also recognized at the newly established Mediterranean Regional Information Network (MedRIN) and the South Central and Eastern European Regional Information Network (SCERIN) of the GOFC-GOLD (Global Observation of Forest and Land Cover Dynamics) and GTOS (Global Terrestrial Observing System), where he serves as Lead in relation with the evaluation of the Global Land Cover Maps. He is also an active collaborator of the NASA LCLUC Program and member in the Copernicus Academy.

Research in the environmental sector is growing in importance over time due to its strong relation to human wellbeing. Ecosystems supply provisioning goods, fulfil regulation and maintenance functions and deliver cultural services. All these benefits are crucial for human wellbeing and for the sustainable development of societies. EO plays an important role in their assessment, because it can be used for quantitative evaluation. Developments take place at an accelerating pace at global scale supported by the launching of international and European initiatives and programmes (e.g. Aichi Targets, Convention on Biological Diversity - CBD indicators, GEO BON, GEO ECO Initiative, ECO FUN, Copernicus Services, Mapping and Assessment of Ecosystems and their Services - MAES, European Nature Information System - EUNIS, Sustainable Development Goals - SDGs, H2020 relevant projects – e.g. E-SHAPE, ECOPOTENTIAL). New monitoring methodologies are now available that combine approaches in geo- and biosciences, remotely sensed data and in-situ observations. Satellite missions, such as the European Sentinels, provide a large amount of high-quality primary and secondary derived data useful for monitoring the environment and ecosystems. In-situ data are being organized and made available through international activities, such as the International Long-Term Ecological Research (ILTER) network and the Critical Zone Exploration Network (CZEN). Ecosystem models capable of assimilating the information from EOs are being developed. Recent technological advances, among others the Open Data Cube technologies and the ECOPOTENTIAL EODESM online tool, deliver unique capabilities to track changes in unprecedented detail using EO data, enabling effective responses to problems of national and international significance and considered supportive to ecosystem status assessments. Let us convene and discuss together about aforementioned, exchange experiences and knowledge during the 6th GISTAM event in Prague.