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30 July 2019 | Launch the result layers of Pilot CORINE Land Cover Project in Georgia

Countries: Georgia

The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia (MEPA) has launched into their “Environmental Information and Knowledge Management System” the results of the Pilot Tbilisi CORINE Landcover-Change Mapping Project activities implemented under the ENI SEIS II East Project. Pilots on extending CORINE Land Cover (CLC) methodology to areas of the partner countries is a step to facilitate the access to, and use of, some spatial data required for SEIS implementation at national level.

This activity also allows direct links to related initiatives and programmes at the European level; namely the on-going work to produce the 2018 update of the CLC layers in the EEA39 countries, and services provided through the Copernicus Programme, a joint European Union and European Space Agency initiative for a long term sustainable capacity building in Earth Observation from space.

'Environmental Information and Knowledge Management System' portal is operated and managed under the Environmental Information and Education Center (EIEC) which is the Legal entity of Pubic Law (LEPL) of the MEPA. Now the Pilot project’s final results 3 CLC layers  are available for viewing and downloading.

The largest city in Georgia, Tbilisi and its surrounding areas were selected for the CLC pilot project covering 2500 km2 for mapping of land cover and land cover changes over an almost two decades. The pilot area includes dynamically developing urban areas, forested mountains, semi-arid rangelands, water bodies, etc.  The pilot project successfully produced three CLC layers: CLC2018 status, CLC2001 status, and CLC-Changes 2001-2018. The derived GIS layers verification and evaluation were done by the ETC/ULC Technical Team. The Team helped the pilot project implementation group to clearly understand the CORINE methodology for future work.

The main image for creating a land cover for the base year 2018 was the ortho-rectified image of the Sentinel-2, which was downloaded from the Copernicus data portal. For change detection, Sentinel-2 data from 2018 had to be compared with Landsat 7 2001 (7 spectral bands of 30m ground resolution) and Aster Terra 2001 (14 spectral bands 15, 30, 90 m ground resolution) data. The main ancillary data were digital topographic maps of 1: 10,000 with an updated status from 1985 to 1989, IKONOS with high resolution, Quickbird images from 2005-2010 and a cadaster geodata of 1: 2000 scale from the National Registry. Vector data of irrigation schemes were also used.

The next steps for future work to upscale the pilot project results and cover the whole Georgia is discussed and is developed a proper proposal for CLC to the entire Georgian territory. Land cover change is an important indicator under UNCCD and Georgia is obliged reporting the Land Cover changes to the UNCCD Secretariat.