The overall aim of NATURE-FIRST is to reverse the decline of biodiversity, in Europe and elsewhere. To achieve this we need to move from reactive to proactive action, from restoration to prevention. This requires deepening our insights in the drivers behind the what, how, where and when of biodiversity decline, which in turn requires a data-driven approach.
To this end, and to enable data-driven monitoring of ecosystems and determine whether restoration and intervention strategies are effective, we start with making management objectives, evaluation criteria and evaluation methods explicit. To turn the collected data into facts and actionable information (i.e. intelligence) that can be used to inform proactive measures to make ecosystems more resilient, we aim at developing a comprehensive yet open system that automates many of the tedious and labour some tasks.
Our overall objective is thus to develop predictive, proactive and preventative capabilities for nature conservation stakeholders by combining theoretic premises from the sciences of ecology and environmental forensics with empirical environmental observations (satellite-based & on-site) into a Proof of Principle that is tested and demonstrated in the following European areas, covering six biogeographical regions
OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS
Biodiversity is under severe pressure due to a myriad of problems, including but not limited to habitat fragmentation, overexploitation, including hunting, climate change, pollution, invasive species. Changes in land and sea use can lead to conflict situations with production animals and/or human communities (human-wildlife conflict). The exploitation of natural resources brings with it illegal activities: poaching of species of flora and fauna that have a high value on the (black) market, trafficking and trading of rare and exotic animals and plants and setting fire to forestry and natural areas to force land-use designation changes to agriculture or commercial uses.
Sensing Clues (SC), Wildlife Forensic Academy (WFA), Wageningen University & Research (WUR), Staffordshire University (SU), Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), 3edata (3eD), Semantic Web Company (SWC), dotSPACE Foundation (DS), Sustainable Scale-up Foundation (SSF), Danube Delta National Institute (DDNI), Bulgarian Academy of Science (BAS)