In-Situ Observations and Applications for Ecosystem Status of China and Central Asia

In-Situ Observations and Applications for Ecosystem Status of China and Central Asia

The Challenge

In Central Asia, ecosystems are vulnerable to climate and human activities, and their ecosystem services are degrading. The Central Asia`s progress tracking for SDGs goal 15 are limited by insufficient in-situ ecosystem observation, inconsistency monitoring indicator system, lack of standard data product and sharing.

The Solution

Our project team builds upon 35-year experiences of the Chinese Ecosystem Research Network and 10-years work of the Center for Ecology and Environment of Central Asia to enhance in-situ ecosystem observation, data management and sharing capacity in the Central Asia.

We develop protocols for in-situ observation, data process and sharing for the Central Asia. We pilot integrated monitoring and grassland ecosystem function assessment. We enhance regional research cooperation, knowledge sharing and capacity building.

Latest Developments

International Training Course on Terrestrial Ecological Monitoring Technologies and Applications in China and Central Asia

It aims at enhancing capacity of young researchers and technicians in Central Asia on terrestrial ecosystem monitoring technologies, data production and sharing. Workshop participation is by invitation only. September 9-12 2023

Our Impact

We established a data repository ( to provide data storage and sharing services. It shared 446 GB data and was downloaded for over 110k times.

An Ecological Monitoring and Management Research Alliance in the Central Asian Region was established with 16 organizations, and a knowledge hub established (

A series of datasets about Central Asias ecosystems were produced. A special issue at the Journal of Chinese Science Data entitled “key data for assessment of typical terrestrial ecosystems in the arid zone of Central Asia” is in publishing.

Policy Drivers

The conservation, restoration and sustainable utilization of ecosystems and their services is a shared goal of Group on Earth Observations (GEO), UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity flamework(GBF).

These include SDGs15.1 ensure conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, and SDGs 15.3 combat desertification, and restore degraded land and soil, GBF Target 21 Ensure that the best available data, information and knowledge are accessible to decision makers, practitioners and the public to guide effective and equitable governance, integrated and participatory management of biodiversity.

Our Donors

Our Partners

Participating Organizations


How We Work

This activity is led by the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and working with the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Central Asia countries, and the United Nations Environment Programme-Interantional Ecosystem Management Partnership. Following services are provided:

  • Develop in situ monitoring and data sharing protocols of terrestrial ecosystems
  • Produce key datasets of terrestrial ecosystem functions, together with a National Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Remote Sensing Data Catalog Information Service Platform
  • Pilot "In Situ-Near Ground- Remote Sensing" monitoring and evaluation technology in Tajikistan
  • Based on Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) multispectral and RGB images to estimate the aboveground biomass of grassland in Central Asia:A case study of typical grassland in Tajikistan
  • Spatial variations of vegetation productivity along a climate gradient in the Central Asia grassland
  • Assessing the spatial and temporal dynamics of vegetation cover and its influencing factors in Central Asia (2001-2020)
  • Identification of the number of cattle, horses, and sheep in drone images
  • Establish an international coordination mechanism for integrated monitoring of terrestrial ecosystems


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