TERN’s remote sensing data products are enhancing Australia’s contribution to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals. Learn about the data, the policy and goals they’re informing and the benefits for Australia’s neighbours.
Mangrove data to inform national and global policy
One example of a TERN data product and research infrastructure that’s enhancing Australia’s contribution to achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals is the TERN Mangrove Data Portal.
Launched in 2018, the portal provides open access to decades of historical and newly acquired field and Earth observation data, and delivers on SDG 15, Life on Land.
“Data in the TERN Mangrove Portal provides scientists and managers with information that facilitates monitoring of coastal environmental change, provides new knowledge on the causes and impacts of this change, and supports the sustainable management of our immensely important mangrove ecosystems” says Professor Richard Lucas, of UNSW and Aberystwyth University in Wales.
Openly available via the portal, TERN’s 2017 LiDAR and aerial imagery dataset over the Gulf of Carpentaria represents the largest single dedicated acquisition of such data over a mangrove ecosystem anywhere in the world.
It’s a baseline that is being used by researchers to understand how this dynamic ecosystem is responding to environmental change in Australia. TERN is now collaborating with Vietnam to process satellite imagery of the Mekong River, with the results of this work being used to validate whether the TERN methodology can be applied around the globe.
“Data and systems like this one can inform environmental policy in Australia and will allow the nation to contribute to international environmental conventions, including the SDGs,” says Richard.
“It is hoped that TERN’s efforts in creating this observing system will lead to routine monitoring of mangroves at a national level with input from an expert community in Australia and internationally.”
High-resolution airborne imagery collected by TERN in 2017 along the entire coastline of the Gulf of Carpentaria, including this section along the Roper River, documents significant mangrove dieback and is now openly available for download (imagery courtesy of Google Earth and Airborne Research Australia)