Dr. Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the United Arab Emirates Space Agency (UAE) reinforced the agency’s commitment to strengthen international collaboration through space agency cooperation for the use of space assets in environmental research.
Satellite data are used for mapping current forest fires, burned areas, damage, emissions, soil erosion, vegetation regeneration and for predicting the likelihood of forest fires. This information supports reconstruction, mitigation, preparedness, and disaster response.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will develop an open-access database using satellite information to support water-scarce countries in the Near East and North Africa, where droughts and food security are major issues. The portal’s objective is to gather and assess satellite data in order to enhance land and water productivity, and to foster the sustainability of agricultural systems.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has published a report in which the quantity of carbon dioxide and other pollutants produced by fires that remains in the atmosphere has been determined.
There is a need for wider coordination between conservation organizations and space agencies to decide which variables tracked from space can be useful in order to monitor changes in biodiversity on a global scale. It is crucial to identify these changes as they may very well have impacts on the occurrence of natural disasters, such as droughts, landslides, floods and wildfires.
A joint study by Cornell University, Princeton University and The Aerospace Corporation found that the current portfolio of rainfall satellites is insufficient to meet information needs for global flood monitoring, and that further loss of satellites would dramatically worsen data coverage.