Theia Forest and Water Quality Workshops

Theia hold two consecutive workshops in October in Montpellier (France). The events were dedicated to the most applied satellite products available for the monitoring of Forest (11 October) and of Water Quality (12 October). Since most of the products presented use Sentinel data and imagery, both events benefited from the European Union’s Caroline Herschel Framework Partnership Agreement on Copernicus User Uptake. Due to a partnership with the Cité de l’Innovation et des Métiers de Demain, a facility belonging to the Occitanie region dedicated to innovation, sustainability and foresight, the events took place in a large room, comfortable for to people meetings and presentations and respecting the sanitary measures of the time.

Both workshops convened over 90 people representative of public research institutions and users,  private companies and students. The respective proportions for each event are the following: 57% public sector, 24% private sector and 19% student for Theia Forest Workshop, and 60% public, 25% private and 14% students for Theia Water Quality Workshop.

Figure 1 Participants for the Forest Workshop                                   
  Figure 2 Participants for the Water Quality Workshop

The organizing committee wanted to give priority to meetings and discussions after two years of remote animation. The events were therefore exclusively face to face meetings. Videos of both session are available on Theia YouTube channel.

The Forest Workshop (11 October) aimed to cover a large panel of uses of remote-sensing for forestry: from forest stands composition mapping to disease monitoring, passing wildfire management and deforestation. The nine start-of-the-art presentations focused on innovative and established tools, notably often using multiple captors as well as artificial intelligence, and discussed their results with the community of researchers and users in attendance. By design, the number of presentations had been limited in order to assure at least half an hour of discussion after each presentation. This organisation has been largely applauded by participants, who all underlined the quality of the exchange. To be noted, the creation of a Scientific Expertise Centre dedicated to tree diseases monitoring, which has been discussed for a long time within Theia, was acted during this workshop.

The Quality Water Workshop (12 October) aimed to highlight the responses of remote sensing to overcome the lack of operational data about water quality for managing continental waters up to the interfaces at global, regional, national and local levels. The workshop first gave the floor to the needs of users (European directive, regular operations, ecological disasters, etc.) for the various methods for measuring water quality (pollution, flows, etc.). Already available tools, many developed with Theia Water Colours Scientific Expertise Centre, and best perspectives (especially with the coming Thrishna mission) were thereafter presented and discussed extensively with the floor. Finally, Pascal Kosuth from the French General Council for Environment and Sustainable Development explored the future needs of the water quality community and the possible answers public research and private sector could bring to. Here again all participants expressed their appreciation of the quality of the presentations and the possibility to exchange and debate face to face.