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Indonesian space agency cements plans to work with Ecometrica on deforestation data

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Indonesian space agency cements plans to work with Ecometrica on deforestation data

Downstream space and sustainability company Ecometrica has made a long-term commitment to collaborate with Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) and Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) beyond the Forests 2020 project, by signing a memorandum of understanding. 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 UK-based firm, whose advanced platform allows data from satellites, such as the Sentinel constellations, to be used to track changes of forests, has been helping to monitor the effects of palm oil plantation and other agricultural sectors on Indonesia’s tropical rainforests, while 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 these two Indonesian organisations will work with Ecometrica for many years beyond 2020.

Adrian Smith, chief finance officer of Ecometrica and signatory to the MoU, 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.

Project-managed by Ecometrica, Forests 2020 brings together some of the UK’s leading experts on forest monitoring at the Universities of Edinburgh and Leicester, and Carbomap.

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