Vegetation

Background: Natural outdoor environments including green spaces play an important role in preserving population health and wellbeing in cities, but the number of deaths that could be prevented by increasing green space in European cities is not known. We aimed to estimate the number of natural-cause deaths among adult residents that could be prevented in cities in 31 European countries, if the WHO recommendation for universal access to green space was achieved.
Elsevier, ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Volume 162, April 2020
Mountains provide essential ecosystem services to billions of people and are home to a majority of the global biodiversity hotspots. However, mountain ecosystems are particularly sensitive to climate and environmental changes. The protection and sustainable management of mountain ecosystems are thus of great importance and are listed as a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 15.4) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator 15.1.1 proposes to quantify “Forest area as a proportion of total land area” in order to achieve SDG target 15.1. While area under forest cover can provide useful information regarding discrete changes in forest cover, it does not provide any insight on subtle changes within the broad vegetation class, e.g. forest degradation. Continental or national-level studies, mostly utilizing coarse-scale satellite data, are likely to fail in capturing these changes due to the fine spatial and long temporal characteristics of forest degradation.
To fight against the biodiversity loss and to take advantage of ecosystem services that nature can offer, urban planners integrate green spaces in urban projects. However to assess green spaces, attention is generally paid to local biodiversity (i.e. “in situ”)which concerns the plot on which buildings are constructed. The biodiversity impacted outside the construction site (i.e. “ex situ”)which concerns the extraction of materials, transportation and waste, is rarely associated to the project assessment.