The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission is pleased to announce the first release of the DOPA Explorer (Beta version)

The Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA) is conceived around a set of interacting Critical Biodiversity Informatics Infrastructures (databases, web modelling services, broadcasting services, …) hosted at different institutions, including the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and BirdLife International. The services developed for the DOPA are designed to provide to a large variety of end-users, ranging from park managers, funding agencies to researchers, with means to assess, monitor and possibly forecast the state and pressure of protected areas at the local, national and global scales.

DOPA Explorer (Beta) is a first web based assessment tool where global datasets including 9 000 protected areas covering almost 90% of the global protected surface have been processed automatically to generate a set of indicators on ecosystems, climate, phenology, species, ecosystem services and pressures. DOPA Explorer can so help identify the protected areas with most unique ecosystems and species and assess the pressures they are exposed to because of human development. Ecological data derived from near real-time earth observations are also made available, although limited currently to the African continent.

Most important, DOPA Explorer (Beta) is also indirectly highlighting the protected areas for which the information is incomplete or could not be processed. DOPA Explorer (Beta) needs therefore to be seen as a first proof of concept and as an invitation to engage with us to improve services and indicators in support to the assessment, monitoring and forecasting of biodiversity.

DOPA Explorer has been made public at http://dopa.jrc.ec.europa.eu/explorer/  (best used with Firefox!)

More information on DOPA can be further found at http://dopa.jrc.ec.europa.eu/  where you will also find in the following publication more information on DOPA and the use of the Explorer:

Dubois, G, M. Schulz, J. Skøien, A. Cottam, W. Temperley, M. Clerici, E. Drakou, J. van’t Klooster, B. Verbeeck, I. Palumbo, P. Derycke, J-F. Pekel, J. Martínez-López, S. Peedell, P. Mayaux  (2013). An introduction to the Digital Observatory for Protected Areas (DOPA) and the DOPA Explorer (Beta). EUR 26207 EN, EC. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union 72 p. 

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