22 Aug 2019 (insider.co.uk) Satellite mapping company Ecometrica is to collaborate with the Indonesian space agency to monitor the effects of palm oil plantations in the rain forests under a signed agreement.
Indonesia's National Institute of Aeronautics and Space ( LAPAN ) and Bogor Agricultural University ( IPB ) have signed a memorandum of understanding with the Edinburgh company as part of the Forests 2020 project. The agreement will ensure the company’s continued involvement in Indonesia and its role in supporting sustainable forest management and the conservation of tropical forests.
The firm, whose advanced platform allows data from satellites, such as the Sentinel constellations, to be used to track changes of forests. This is helping to monitor tropical rainforests, guiding efforts to reverse deforestation through the UK Space Agency -funded Forests 2020 initiative.
Its MoU, signed at a conference in Saarbrucken, Germany, with LAPAN and IPB, means that the two Indonesian organisations will work with Ecometrica for many years beyond 2020.
Adrian Smith, chief finance officer of Ecometrica, said: “The agreement is a long-term commitment to work together and make sure that the technology and methods that we have developed these last years through Forests 2020 are not only sustained, but are made available to as many potential users as possible. This is crucial to ensuring efforts to protect the Indonesian rainforest are as effective as they possibly can be.”
“This is a partnership that will enable us to further develop the digital services of remote sensing satellite technologies and applications for the benefit of Indonesia and beyond,” explained Dr Orbita Roswintiarti, Deputy Chairman of Remote Sensing Affairs of LAPAN.
“We recognise the urgency in addressing the wider challenges we all face, therefore, partnerships with international agencies all over the world are needed. We expect our work with Ecometrica and its partners could support us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for the environmental, economic and social benefits.”
Forests 2020 is a major investment by the UK Space Agency, as part of the International Partnership Programme ( IPP ), to help protect and restore up to 300 million hectares of tropical forests by improving forest monitoring in six partner countries through advanced uses of satellite data. IPP is part of, and funded from, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), a £1.5 billion fund announced by the UK Government, which supports cutting-edge research and innovation on global issues affecting developing countries.