TESEO study supporting Ramsar implementation to be carried out by Atlantis Scientific Inc.


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Editor's note: This is a reprint of the press release from Atlantis Scientific.

For immediate release: 14 November 2001

European Space Agency Awards Atlantis Scientific a Contract to Study Earth Observation Techniques for supporting the implementation of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (TESEO)

atlantis-sci.jpg (5831 bytes)Ottawa, Canada – Atlantis Scientific Inc. today announced the award of a contract to study new ways to use present and future Earth Observation (EO) satellites to monitor wetlands around the world. This project is part of a set of projects collectively called TESEO (Treaty Enforcement Services using Earth Observation) initiated by the European Space Agency (ESA) within the context of the ESA's General Studies Programme. The ESA project to be performed by Atlantis will focus on information products which can improve wetlands management practices as defined in the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar, Iran, 1971). The Atlantis contract was awarded by the ESA's Earth Observation Applications Department in Frascati, Italy. Atlantis will create prototype information products to demonstrate how wetlands managers can use this type of satellite product to assess the health and detect changes in the wetland. A project web site has been created which will enable collection of User Needs from wetlands experts worldwide, and will also be used for dissemination of the results.

To win this contract, Atlantis built a team of experts in remote-sensing science, processing techniques and applications, environmental information management and dissemination, and project management. The team includes Ryerson Batterham Associates Ltd of Manotick, Canada, SITEM S.L. of Barcelona, Spain and DB Geoservices Inc of Ottawa, Canada. The prototype information products will be created for test sites in Canada, Spain and Africa.

Dr. Stephen Briggs, Head of the ESA's Earth Observation Applications Department, said: "ESA initiated the TESEO project in order to assist in our planning for future satellite missions which will have maximum benefit for the global environment, as well as to define operational services supporting the implementation and enforcement of environmental conventions."

Patrick McConnell, president of Atlantis, said: "The TESEO project will continue our string of successful projects with ESA, and will lead Atlantis into a new business area of satellite data processing that will contribute to Sustainable Development."

The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty, which provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. There are presently 130 Contracting Parties to the Convention, with 1107 wetland sites, totaling 87.2 million hectares, designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. Dr. Nick Davidson, Deputy Secretary General of the Ramsar Convention Bureau, said: "Wetlands are vital for environmental security and human well-being, yet half of the world’s wetlands are estimated to have been lost during the 20th century. Earth observation can make a major contribution to the Ramsar Convention’s efforts to wisely use the the world’s wetlands, and we hope this important ESA TESEO Wetlands project will contribute new methods to help improve our management and conservation of wetlands in both developing and developed countries."

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Number of » Contracting Parties: 168 Sites designated for the
» List of Wetlands of
International Importance
2,186 Total surface area of designated sites (hectares): 208,674,247

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