The project initially started with an ESA Business Applications kick-start activity called “EO-li - Earth Observation based location identifier” (https://business.esa.int/projects/eo-li) which lasted from January to June 2018.
The initial project idea was to locate degraded land, areas usually prone to food security problems and related issues. This was an outcome of discussions with GROASIS (https://www.groasis.com/en), a planting technology company from the Netherlands that developed a water saving box from biodegradable egg carton material for growing trees in extremely dry conditions.
Quickly after the project start, the concept shifted to go beyond the aspect of food security and land degradation and target land restoration as this is the bigger picture and in the focus of the international community.
Attending the Conference of Parties (COP23) in Bonn at the end of 2017 as an ESA delegation observer, allowed the identification of the needs and the concerns of the global community in terms of climate change mitigation and adaptation. Evaluating the competitor landscape led to the insight that there are numerous platforms providing services regarding the needs of the global community. However, all of them delivered only certain aspects while missing others. In this context the team from mundialis came up with a unique, holistic concept integrating all the necessary service ideas into one platform.
In the context of this initial project a concept was written, which ESA liked to such a degree that mundialis was asked to submit an outline proposal and subsequently a full proposal to ESA for a two-phase demonstration project.
The project name EO-li was changed to HERMOSA, an acronym for ‘Holistic Ecoystem Restoration Monitoring, repOrting, Sharing and mArketplace’. In Spanish ‘hermosa’ means ‘beautiful’. Notwithstanding the numerous name changes the concept and the content of the project platform remains absolutely the same.
In the middle of the proposal phase the United Nations declared on March 01st 2019 that the decade from 2021 to 2030 will be dedicated to the restoration of ecosystems, underlining perfectly the need for intelligent geodata management including remote sensing data analysis both topics being addressed by HERMOSA. Since the need for ecosystem restoration was recognised at the highest political level, finance mechanisms and incentives to implement relevant projects on the ground will follow.