DIONE is an integrated Earth Observation (EO) -based toolbox for modernising CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) area-based compliance checks and assessing respective environmental impact. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme. DIONE is coordinated by the Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (ICCS), it involves seven other partners from five European countries and runs for 30 months, from January 2020 until June 2022. The Kick-off Meeting of the project will be held in Athens, Greece on the 27th and 28th of January and it will be hosted by Coordinator of the project, ICCS.
The modernized CAP landscape will soon bring an untapped potential to the EO-based market products, as the current monitoring system based on in-situ inspections will need to be gradually replaced or at least undergo a major reform. Paying agencies will have to update their IT infrastructure to include automated tools, being requested to perform checks on a much thinner time-scale (on a weekly or even more frequent basis, rather than once per year), to quantify the impact of various practices on EU ecosystems, and ensure a wider sample and auditable proof of compliance checks than what is currently the case.
DIONE aims to develop an Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled tool that will be able to correlate data from various sources in order to provide feedback to professionals from the green paying agencies about land condition and land use. This way the compliance with subsidy rules and regulations will be automatically assessed without the need of on-site inspection and installation of expensive and complicated instrumentation.
The system will be based on ML (ensembles and deep learning regressors) and use a multitude of information as inputs: Open EO data (Sentinel-1, Sentinel-2, etc.), Commercial EO (WorldWind, GeoData, etc.), Aerial imagery (drones, planes) and other raster data. This type of image-based analysis will be combined with data from low-cost sensors that evaluate land degradation.
The DIONE Toolbox is an integrated service-based solution for paying agencies to abide by the Modernised CAP regulations, while at the same time pave the way for a concrete environmental performance evaluation of greening in a national or regional level, depending on the agency’s jurisdiction. The DIONE toolbox will include a Green Compliance toolbox, allowing paying agencies to check the compliance of farmers but at the same time monitor the green direct payments’ environmental performance.
The integrated EO-based DIONE’ toolbox delivers clear economic value to key targeted customers, estimating to lower administrative and operational costs to 30% of the current ones related to CAP area-based compliance checks and assessment of respective environmental impacts.
The DIONE Consortium comprises 8 partners from 5 European countries: Institute of Communication and Computer Systems (Greece), Diabalkaniko Kentro Periballontos (Greece), Sinergise – Laboratorij za geografske informacijske sisteme doo (Slovenia), Core Innovation and Technology OE (Greece), National Paying Agency (Lithuania), InoSens doo (Serbia), GILab doo (Serbia) and Cyprus Agricultural Payments Organisation (Cyprus).