12 December 2013 | Article
DOPA Explorer can help identify the protected areas with the most unique ecosystems and species and assess the pressures they are exposed to as a result of human development. Explorer can also provide ecological data derived from close to real-time earth observations. Inversely, DOPA Explorer indirectly highlights the protected areas for which the information is incomplete.
Available in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese, DOPA Explorer is the first interface to the Digital Observatory for Protected Areas that is conceived around a set of interacting Critical Biodiversity Informatics Infrastructures (databases, web modelling services, broadcasting services) hosted at different institutions. Articulated around seven fundamental assessment, monitoring and modelling services, DOPA is designed to provide a broad variety of end-users, ranging from park managers to funding agencies and researchers, with means to assess, monitor and possibly forecast the state of, and pressure on, protected areas at local, national and global levels.
Current developments are focusing on DOPA Validator, which will allow registered users to validate or invalidate the information summarized in DOPA Explorer, as well as provide additional observations about individual protected areas. Because DOPA Explorer is generating the core indicators automatically, ground truth validation is essential, in particular for those areas where information is scarce or where models give poor results. The BIOPAMA regional observatories will therefore play an essential role as the exchange platform where in-situ information can be gathered to validate or invalidate the often uncertain national and regional information used by policy makers.
Explore the Beta version of DOPA at this link.