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Oikon’s project selected by EARSC and ESA as an example of the use of satellite data in nature protection

February 29, 2024 – We proudly announce that our invasive species detection activities in the Lonjsko Polje Nature Park have been selected as a showcase study of the innovative use of data from the European Copernicus program. The European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC), under the auspices of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Copernicus program, has highlighted Oikon’s project among only a few in Europe, underscoring its significance in environmental monitoring and conservation efforts.

Oikon’s Innovative Use of Copernicus Data

The published study titled “Detection of invasive species in Croatia” explores the key role of remote sensing based on data obtained through the Copernicus program in the fight against invasive plant species that threaten local ecosystems. Using innovative data processing and analysis algorithms and satellite images, Oikon experts identified and delineated areas within Lonjsko Polje overrun by the false indigo bush (Amorpha fruticosa), an invasive alien species detrimental to biodiversity and ecological balance.

Through the utilization of Sentinel-2 data, Oikon’s solution has provided invaluable insights for park managers, enabling them to reclaim and preserve natural habitats. The new data processing technologies of remote sensing over vast areas developed by Oikon’s experts represent significant progress in combating invasive alien species and provide an alternative to other methods such as LiDAR laser imaging systems and traditional field surveys. In cooperation with the Lonjsko Polje Nature Park, Oikon continues to develop services focused on the early detection of invasive alien species such as false indigo bush and ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), and we expect that these services will soon be available for use in the wider area of the Republic of Croatia.

Revitalizing Local Farming Practices and Biodiversity

In addition to nature and environmental protection, the project’s results are expected to have a positive impact on local agriculture and the economy. Determining and restoring areas overgrown with the invasive plant false indigo bush within Lonjsko Polje will enable the conversion of certain parts of the park into arable land. Local farmers will be able to reintroduce native livestock, including the Posavina horse, the Turopolje pig, and Slavonian-Syrmian grey cattle, thereby revitalizing agricultural practices and supporting biodiversity conservation efforts.

The Lonjsko Polje Nature Park can now effectively target invasive species and ensure the preservation of Croatia’s rich natural heritage. Consequently, farmers will once again be able to use arable land within the Park, and residents and visitors will enjoy protected landscapes and enhanced biodiversity, boosting tourism and the local economy.

The fact that EARSC, ESA, and Copernicus recognized the importance of this project and the innovative methods that our experts used to achieve the results confirms Oikon’s and Croatian competence and innovation employed for ecological sustainability and the well-being of society.

For more details, visit: https://earsc.org/sebs/invasive-species-detection-in-croatia/

Oikon d.o.o.
Oikon d.o.o.