The main objective of SPACE4SUST is to build an international network of specialists in remote sensing for sustainability, where exchange of information and training can take place between stakeholders and young researchers on topics such as data collection from satellite images, large-scale water and agricultural resources monitoring, or assessment of deforestation and estimation of biomass. The project will gather partners from Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, France, and Vietnam.

Remote sensing (RS) techniques have an increasing importance in environmental sciences, especially thanks to the increasing availability of long term, moderate to high spatio-temporal resolution of Earth Observations (EO). These techniques are highly relevant to monitor Essential Environmental Variables (EEVs), including Essential Climate Variables (ECVs) such as Soil Moisture or Above Ground Biomass, but also new variables related to human activities that high to Very High Resolution (VHR) EO data enable to detect: crop rotation and yield, sowing dates or irrigation water uses, trees height or small reservoir bathymetries. Methodological research efforts are deployed to extract appropriate EEVs from recent high spatio-temporal resolutions EO data to quantify environmental changes, build numerical models of socio-agro-hydro systems, and elaborate prospective scenarii. Those research efforts in environmental sciences are the basement of sustainability science. They quantify the complex interactions between societies and environmental resources, measure the trajectories related to degradation of these systems and sometimes estimate the concomitant risks to human well-being. They are crucial to finally design solutions to cope with systemic risks, such as resources exhaustion and climate change.

This proposal of IRN strives to build an international network of RS specialists that use EO data to retrieve their respective EEVs over continental ecosystems. It is primarily based on a long history of collaboration and a strong network in the Mediterranean area, India and Vietnam on the thematic of multi- temporal and multi-wavelength remote sensing observations for the monitoring of water resources and water uses, crop growth and stressors, fast deforestation and aforestation, and forest biomass estimates. In addition to existing EO data, new satellite missions will provide new types of EO data in the next years that are crucial to increase our capacities to monitor environmental changes and build sustainable solutions. Among others, two forthcoming satellite missions led by CESBIO teams, are particularly adequate to address environmental issues in tropical regions. They are crucial for the identified consortium as they will provide new types of EEVs. Biomass, the first P-Band radar satellite, will provide improved estimates of tropical forest biomass, improved deforestation detection or monitoring groundwater depth fluctuation in arid zones. Trishna, a high resolution indo-French thermal mission will detect water stressed crops before desiccation starts, to help optimizing irrigation worldwide, improve the snow and crop land energy balance estimates but also to map urban heat island, the first step to design sustainable cities. In that context, and given the close and long-lasting link between the research partners and managers and stakeholders acting in the different regions, this GDRI will be an opportunity to help those coming missions to identify the requirements from Southern countries, to set up in situ data networks for methods development and results validation.

Période : 2022-2025