The recent Earth Observation meeting of the EU-Russia Space Dialogue was held in Moscow on 15th of May. The meeting was organized by ROSCOSMOS and took place at the Keldysh Research Center. The meeting aimed at the continuation and review of ongoing and future FP7 acivities and to discuss the potential of common GEO activities and satellite data exchenge including future Sentinel data. While presenting key FP7 projects in the framework of the Space Dialogue, representatives of EUMETSAT and EEA joined the meeting in order to present their current collaboration framework.

The presentation of the ZAPÁS project was well recieved, commented and appreciated from Russian and EU sides. ZAPÁS remains a key component of the joint cooperation between Russia and the European Union. One of the conclusions of the recent discussions of the Space Dialogue is that the ongoing FP7 projects in the field of earth observation for crop monitoring (MOCCCASIN) and forest resource assessment (ZAPÁS) are important mechanisms to bring the ongoing political discussions into action. Both sides of the Space Dialogue recommended to continue the current work and find ways for future funding.

The recent Earthzine article points on the importance of the global observation of forest biomass (by Dmitry Schepaschenko).

Taiga in Central Siberia, Eastern Baikal Region (photo by Martyna Stelmaszczuk)

Terrestrial biomass is considered as an essential indicator for the monitoring of the Earth’s ecosystem and climate. In recent years, many regional biomass datasets have been produced. These were obtained using a wide range of methods — from pure remote sensing RS to the collection of field measurements. The Biomass Geo-Wiki is a new tool from the family of, which has been launched to bring together different biomass datasets so that they can be viewed and compared with high resolution imagery on Google Earth. The ultimate goal is to perform gap analysis, cross-product validation, harmonization and hybrid product development leading to improved global biomass datasets in the future. Read more…

As stated by the Nasa Earth Observatory, on June 18, 2012,  a total of 198 wildfires burned across Russia and had charred an area that covered 8,330 hectares. Also RT News announced that the state of emergency was declared in parts of Siberia:

A state of emergency has been declared in several eastern regions, where
hundreds of wildfires are now raging.

The wildfires cover an 8,331-hectare area in total, according to the
Siberian Federal District Forestry Department. Around 1,600 people and
42 planes are now fighting the fires.

According to Greenpeace, the situation is worse now than at the same
time in the summer of 2010, when Russia was devastated by forest fires.