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THEIA data hub projects accredited by SCO


Irrigation, forests, mangroves, prevention of infectious diseases, soil moisture, carbon storage, hedgerows, rice crops… In 2021, a range of projects led by the Theia data hub’s Scientific Expertise Centres (CES) and Regional Mediation Centres (ART) received accreditation from the Space Climate Observatory (SCO).

11 January 2021, France organized the fourth One Planet Summit at the Elysée Palace in Paris in concert with the United Nations and the World Bank. Since 2017, these international gatherings have marked milestones in implementing the Paris Agreement and consolidating international commitment to the Agenda 2030.

Initiated end 2017 by the French space agency CNES in the wake of the first One Planet Summit, the SCO is a group of 27 space agencies and international organizations aiming to support and fund development of operational tools for monitoring and adapting to climate change. It brings together the scientific community, governments and private firms through a range of accredited projects.

10 THEIA projects accredited in 2021

In 2021, the list of SCO-accredited projects proposed by the Theia land surfaces data and services hub got longer.

Space4Irrig: irrigating field crops

The Space4Irrig project aims to give water planners indicators to better manage water resources and identify climate change adaptation strategies suited to local conditions. It is underpinned by the Theia data hub’s infrastructure and work conducted by the Irrigation CES and Very-high-spatial-resolution soil moisture CES to map soil moisture at very high spatial resolution (field level), irrigated crops and crop water requirements in two experimental areas: the Tarn-Aval and Val de la Durance drainage basins. The soil moisture maps are being updated monthly since 2017 and through to 2022.


Detecting and preventing climate-induced diseases

Arbocarto-2 is initially an application aimed at the health sector, targeting zones where the risk of infestation by arbovirus-bearing mosquitoes is very high. Its goal is to guide social efforts to tackle disease vectors and adjust actions undertaken by field teams in high-risk areas. The project encompasses mainland France, Réunion and Martinique.

ClimHealth aims to incorporate satellite-based climate and environmental data in health-monitoring systems to develop early-warning capabilities and guide disease control. The first phase of the project built an operational demonstrator to predict conditions conducive to leptospirosis in the city of Yangon, Myanmar. The application generates a prediction model every five days, as soon as fresh Sentinel-2 imagery of the area is acquired, using the Sen2Chain and Sen2Extract tools developed by the TOSCA S2-Malaria project. The second phase of ClimHealth aims to produce a module for the widely used DHIS2* information system. The project is being led by the Espace-Dev joint research unit of the IRD development research institute and Réunion University in partnership with the French space agency CNES.

* Digital Health Information System

Both projects are drawing on the work of the Infectious Disease Risks CES.


TropiSCO: a project for weekly tracking of tropical deforestation with Sentinel-1

Monitoring felling of rubber trees north of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam between 2018 (yellow) and 2020 (red). Zones left untouched are in grey. © CESBIO

For the TropiSCO project, the deforestation detection method developed by the CESBIO biosphere space research centre, GlobEO and CNES (Bouvet et al., 2018; Ballère et al., 2021) will be applied to tropical rainforests, and possibly to temperate and boreal forests too. TropiSCO will thus provide a tool for monitoring deforestation at a resolution of 10 metres able to give warning of new logging operations and to yield annual statistics. This observation tool will be ready within the next 18 months and its data will be public.


Article on the CESBIO blog


Bombetoka Bay, Madagascar. Sentinel-2, 2017

Understanding and monitoring mangroves is a constant priority, to organize management of their natural resources, characterize how global changes are affecting habitats and ensure their preservation. Exploiting Copernicus and very-high-resolution data, the project is aimed at institutional stakeholders in these coastal regions with high economic, heritage and environmental value. Three regions—Madagascar, the West Indies and French Guiana—will be studied. Theia’s GeoDEV ART is contributing to the project.


BOSCO: a space observatory for monitoring soil water levels in Brittany

© Geosciences Rennes/Theia CES

The BOSCO project is seeking to track changes in soil water content in Brittany and to co-build diagnostic and analytics tools and services together with stakeholders and planners to inform public adaptation policies with regard to water resources, agriculture and ecosystem conservation.

BOSCO will deploy the very-high-spatial-resolution soil moisture satellite data product validated by Theia to monitor soil water content in Brittany. It will afford useful indicators of water availability at local and regional levels to meet the needs of agriculture, resource planners and ecosystem monitoring. An integrated data distribution and visualization platform will serve to train and help stakeholders gain proficiency with the products.


Presentation of BOSCO on the SCO website

EagleHedges: documenting the environmental value of hedgerows

Automatic hedge detection

The EagleHedges project will implement a range of services for monitoring and exploiting hedgerows in mixed woodland and pasture bocage landscapes. A first operational service will enable extraction of hedge areas and lengths to monitor their evolution and update the BD Bocage reference database. A second tool will characterize the morphology, structure and functions of hedgerows to gauge the ecosystem roles and services they fulfil, notably for carbon sequestration.

The HedgeTools software toolbox or QGIS plug-in will be developed to process indicators for the project, working with the Land occupancy CES and Biodiversity variables CES, and will be available through Theia’s website.


Presentation of EagleHedges on the SCO website

Quantica: quantifying soil carbon

The Quantica project (2021-2023) to quantify additional carbon stored in soils seeks to gauge the biomass of cover crops and determine what fraction of this biomass will durably enrich soil with organic matter, as well as to co-build a tool to offer an operational service to end-users looking to achieve low-carbon accreditation. The project is a collaboration between Airbus, E2L, CESBIO, Arvalis, ASP, IGN, APCA, the Occitanie Regional Chamber of Agriculture and the Gers and Tarn Chambers of Agriculture. At the end of the project, data produced will be freely available via a Theia portal dedicated to field crop carbon budgets.


Presentation of Quantica on the SCO website

VIMESCO-Rice: monitoring rice crops

Mekong delta.

The VIMESCO-Rice project aims to provide national rice production planners in Vietnam with tools for monitoring rice crops by radar remote sensing (dynamic mapping of areas sown, crop growth status, crop schedule, yield indicators and number of harvests per year). This information should in the short term enable crop status monitoring and yield forecasting with regard to climate effects, and in the longer term measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change.


Presentation of VIMESCO-Rice on the SCO website


The goal of the Viet-ARRO project (for Vietnam Agriculture Resilient Recovery Observatory) is to establish an observatory for post-disaster crop monitoring in Vietnam. It will provide local and national planners regularly refreshed geospatial data to help them better estimate crop damage after severe weather events and keep track of post-disaster recovery.


Presentation of Viet-ARRO on the SCO website

➡️ Find all articles about SCO projects on the Theia data hub website

➡️ See the SCO France class of 2021