Habitat Monitoring in the Egnatia Motorway Project
The Egnatia Motorway, part of the Trans-European transport Network (TEN), crosses the northern part of Greece from the Port of Igoumenitsa leading to the Town of Kipi at the Turkish border. The final stage of this road construction –supported by the EIB - concerns the about 37km long section of the West Egnatia Motorway from Panagia to Grevena. The Promoter has taken appropriate measures to protect the habitats of a variety of wildlife species that are affected by the road. Objective of this service is to provide the EIB with up-to-date information on the progress of the construction works and on the fragmentation of sensitive areas - focused on the habitat of large mammals like the brown bear (Ursus arctos).
Executive Summary (extracted from the Service Operation Report prepared by the service provider Geoville)
The demonstration project “Habitat monitoring in the Egnatia motorway project” illustrated the suitability of Earth Observation (EO) data for the monitoring of the progress of the construction work as well as the ability to assess the impact of the construction on the landscape during and after project finalisation. The main objectives of the study were the collection and procurement of relevant input data (e.g. EO and ancillary data), the processing of this data to provide basic information for the progress of the construction work and input for a fragmentation analysis. The detailed analysis of the information was not part of the project. The study used satellite imagery from before the construction and recent images to assess land cover changes and to ingest this information into a model to quantify landscape fragmentation.
EO data and derived products thereof in this service provides i) information about a linear project in an inaccessible and sensitive region – an overview of such a case is difficult to obtain otherwise; ii) Time comparisons for specific data ranges that are a valuable tool for land cover change analysis, providing useful insights for our work and objective monitoring over time, both within and around project areas; iii) Possibility to highlight where more attention is required and to target monitoring activity.
Satellite data allow an independent verification of the project’s progress
Satellite imagery is an excellent communication tool which can allow the EIB to visualize and to demonstrate the benefits of its investments
An intermediate agent – such as LuxSpace – is needed to ensure the link between the specialized EO service provider and the EIB user that is in general a non-expert in the field of EO and geo-information. The excellent procurement service provided by LuxSpace allowed us to leave the management of the whole exercise to them having the needed expertise, and saved us valuable time.
LuxSpace made the process as straightforward as possible by translating EIB’s user requirements into the technical specifications necessary to launch the study. However, the major challenge to the EIB for such a study is one of co-ordination. There are many actors involved: EIB, LuxSpace , the service provider, plus the promoter, in this case the Egnatia Observatory network. Fortunately, a fruitful co-operation was achieved and data were shared between the Observatory and the service provider.