Eurosite Remote Sensing Support Group

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Networking for Europe’s nature



Eurosite works to facilitate, support, inspire and unite its members in the common goal of caring for Europe’s nature. One of Eurosite’s main missions is to share ideas and good practice on subjects that are of interest to its members.


The use of remote sensing techniques and spatial analysis tools are among the fastest growing fields in nature conservation planning and management. Access to free high-quality spatial data is improving day by day (e.g. thanks to the EU Copernicus earth observation and monitoring programme). Moreover, the availability of low-price and easy-to-use mapping equipment and open source software mean that managers of high value nature conservation areas, practitioners and decision-makers can now apply new technologies in biodiversity conservation situations.

Eurosite’s mission is to provide opportunities for practitioners to network and exchange experience on practical nature management. In April 2019, Eurosite organised the 4th Natura 2000 Monitoring workshop (hosted by Estación Biológica de Doñana in Spain) to bring these matters closer to managers of sites protected for nature conservation. We discussed the roles of satellite and drone images in conservation monitoring and the usefulness of open source software packages that can increase the efficiency, accuracy and precision of our work. One of the main results of this fruitful meeting was the conclusion that there is a high demand for Eurosite members to create a new, permanent working group focused directly on remote sensing.

© Clive Hurford

© Clive Hurford


The ERSSG focuses on developing innovative, open, remote sensing tools and technologies supporting open access to biodiversity spatial data. The first RSSG meeting was held online on 29 October 2019. Together with experts from Czechia, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and

“The Eurosite Remote Sensing Support Group was set up to help bridge the gap between remote sensing technicians and nature conservation practitioners. One of the principal aims of the group is to facilitate information exchange between these key workers and help to ensure that the potential of remote sensing as a source of ecological data is fully realised.” Clive Hurford ERSSG Chair (2019-present)

UK we discussed opportunities for closer cooperation and involvement of other Eurosite members in this field. One of its first tasks has been to organise in June 2020 a series of targeted introductory webinars to key remote sensing and GIS subject areas for site managers and conservationists (the recordings are available online: introduction to QGIS, bird counts in ImageJ, drones in vegetation mapping). The group plans to establish a series of information exchange hubs in as many European countries as possible and to organise face-face sessions between the remote sensing specialists and conservation practitioners. In 2021 these sessions will be supported by a followup series of webinars focussing on key remote sensing and GIS subjects. Most of the emphasis will be placed on how and where to access open source imagery and which open source software packages can be used for image interpretation. The group is open to practitioners that would like to bring and share their experiences in a wider, European forum.

“We aim to facilitate the access of private companies to the results of research projects, especially those based on Earth Observation, Remote Sensing technologies and remotely sensed databases including those acquired through satellite or the use of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS).”

© Edyta Mazur

Boris Hinojo 3edata ingeniería Ambiental Eurosite Member


Eurosite membership is ideal for individuals and organisations working to conserve Europe’s nature, and wanting to: • optimise their management practices and achieve their nature conservation goals; • share information and experiences in order to learn from each other; • understand EU policies impacting on nature and their work; and • network with other members leading to financial and environmental gains. • • Interested in becoming a Eurosite member or want to find out more? Don’t hesitate and visit our website or contact us directly. I +31 (0)85 086 13 63 I

© Eurosite This leaflet is financially supported by the European Union. The sole responsibility lies with the author - the Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

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