Conserving Natural Resources Through Space Technologies

According to WWF, deforestation accounts for 15% of all greenhouse gas emissions. This staggering figure highlights the need to protect our natural resources in order to act against the negative impacts of climate change.

One way new projects are working to conserve natural resources and wildlife is through the use of space enabled technologies. From satellite navigation and imaging, to AI technologies, smart tech has the potential to change the way we interact with nature for the better.

Here are some of the most intriguing projects we’ve found using space technology for conservation.

WAMCAM: Wildlife Conservation Rebooted

Traditionally, wildlife monitoring and conservation required researchers to manually set up live animal traps and camera traps around an area, wait, then laboriously return to check if any animals had been spotted.

This is changing, thanks to the WAMCAM, a battery-powered camera which can identify species through onboard AI technology. Satellite navigation allows conservation scientists to conduct much wider studies across difficult terrain, aiding research.

By notifying researchers when an animal has been captured, and storing information digitally, this solution has massive time-saving potential for capturing, tagging, and protecting endangered species.

Originally created for researchers studying the native leopard population in Borneo, this technology could soon be aiding researchers across the globe.

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Explore National Parks From Your Living Room

Who’s up for an augmented reality gaming experience that helps build environmental awareness?

This one sounds like fun.

WildWeGo aims to increase the popularity of national parks and create greater public awareness of biodiversity conservation through gaming. Educational AR games within the parks help limit visitor’s ecological footprints without taking away from the learning experience.

A server connecting all participants to a mobile App allows visitors to play ‘On the Go’ within the national park and a website App lets family and friends join in from home. Satellite navigation for location mapping, alongside the exchange of remote data allows visitors at parks to interact with others at home and report any observations to the park authorities.

This projects hopes to boost learning about flora and fauna through interactive fun and is already in motion!

The IoTrees Project: An Internet of Trees

The IoTrees project aims to make crop monitoring easier and more efficient for forest managers and forest owners. By creating sensors and a dendrometer to measure trees, and transmitting data remotely back to a main HQ, crop monitoring should become more sustainable.

As most forests don’t have wireless network coverage, satellite communication is used to geo-localise trees.

By eliminating the need for human intervention, this process will become more cost-effective and prevent damage to natural environments due to human interference. Decisions like when to harvest will be made easier by more frequent monitoring and a wider collection of reliable data.

The forest HQ platform lets forest managers map forests, make assessments and predictions all in one place.

Supporting Sustainable Technology Projects

With deforestation occurring at an alarming rate, sustainable solutions are needed now more than ever. Utilising the latest space enabled technologies could be the way forward.

To continue the development of space technologies and improve sustainability and climate issues around the globe, it’s important that projects like these are supported and helped to grow.

All of the projects mentioned here have received vital funding from ESA Business Apps. Head to the ESA BA funding page to check out other environmental projects they have helped support.


Please note, this is a guest post on behalf of European Space Agency: Business Applications

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