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Development of the project idea

The NATURA 2000 network of the European Union (Habitats Directive and Birds Directive) requires the long term survey and preservation of particularly threatened habitats and their inhabiting biocenosis. Currently there are no uniform standards across Europe to survey NATURA 2000 sites and their long term changes.

On the landscape scale, the surface covering census of habitats by the means of colour infrared (CIR) aerial images can contribute to this aim. Periodical flights and the interpretation of aerial photographs according to a common coded key guarantee for the standardized delimitation of land use types as well as for comparable time series of landscape evolution for these areas.

Photo: Parc National des Ecrins

Already in 1996, the Swiss National Park and the National Parks of Hohe Tauern and Berchtesgaden agreed to create a comparable database on the basis of aerial photographs that could be interpreted with the same key. The parks put to practise this idea in the framework of an INTERREG II A project from 1999-2001.

In 1999 the HABITAT working group of the Alpine Network of Protected Areas formulated the project idea on an alpine wide scale. The project concept was first publicized in September 2001 on the website http://www.interreg.ch with the project title "Analysis and long term monitoring of alpine habitats in national parks based on colour infrared aerial photos".


Last update: 24.06.07
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