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Earth Observations data and products represent great potential for understanding, managing, and conserving biodiversity.  The project developed a Decision Support System (DSS) for Biodiversity Conservation and Management in Colombia to integrate, process and analyze Earth observations in one platform, to inform biodiversity decision-making. The DSS will inform the National Environmental Information System of Colombia and will be hosted and administered by the official institution leading the implementation of the BON in Colombia, the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Biodiversity, with support from the other participant organizations.

Key Highlights Include:

  • Developed software to expand previous functionalities by retrieving and integrating data on 1) forest and freshwater ecosystems 2) forest ecosystem structure and 3) species distribution for quantifying and reporting changes in key essential biodiversity variables.
  • Developed an online database that includes both national and global biodiversity datasets derived from Earth observations has been constructed. This database facilitates the calculation of spatial biodiversity indicators for pre-defined or user specified areas of interest in Colombia.
  • Development of a Simulated Operational Environment (SOP).  Beta-tested the system backend in a SOP using an R-markdown environment, enabling testing the tasks of the back-end infrastructure, including cloud-infrastructure set up, load and control of the cloud infrastructure, API testing, polygon definition, and output reporting.
  • Finalizing first version of the harmonized forest change product for Colombia that improves the spatial coverage and temporal resolution of the official forest change maps.

Developed two R packages named ecochange (published) and rasterMapR (alpha version). ecochange V1.3 constitutes a major upgrade to a previous package (forestChange) and is already published in the R CRAN repository. This ensures that the package is fully documented, reproducible, compatible with all major operating systems and fully operational.