Amnesty International partners with Planet to fight deforestation in Cambodia
SAN FRANCISCO, April 01, 2022–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Planet Labs PBC (NYSE:PL), a leading provider of daily Earth data and information, today shared a recent project to combat deforestation in Cambodia with Amnesty International, an international rights-based non-governmental organization. Using Planet’s daily satellite monitoring capabilities, Amnesty International works to identify and shed light on environmental and human rights abuses in the region.
Using Planet’s datasets, Amnesty International is currently working to protect the Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary, the largest lowland evergreen forest in Southeast Asia, which spans around 500 000 hectares in four provinces of Cambodia. Designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 2016, Prey Lang is government protected land, containing diverse flora and fauna. This land plays a vital role in the traditions, local customs and beliefs of indigenous peoples and local communities. However, recent events have weakened the natural defenses of the sanctuary and degraded its borders.
To protect this important region, Amnesty uses Planet’s unique satellite capabilities. Planet owns and operates the largest Earth observation constellation in the world with over 200 satellites currently in orbit. These satellites provide a line scanner of the Earth, imaging all terrestrial locations on the planet every day. By providing unprecedented insight into global change, Planet enables its customers to monitor environmental degradation and illegal activities to hold global actors accountable.
Using data from Planet, Amnesty International has effectively identified and tracked illegal activities within the borders of Prey Land Wildlife Sanctuary. Given the vast size of the sanctuary, the high frequency of cloud cover and the level of detail required to monitor deforestation down to the individual tree, Amnesty International adopted Planet’s daily imagery services and high-resolution capabilities. to effectively monitor deforestation in real time.
“We believe global transparency enables global sustainability, and our satellites provide datasets and tools that can support global NGOs in the vital work they do. Amnesty International does incredible work to protect human rights and vital ecosystems, and we are proud to support this team and their work,” said Will Marshall, CEO and co-founder of Planet.
To better monitor the Sanctuary, Amnesty International employs a “tip and cue” strategy with Planet satellites. This process uses Planet’s medium-resolution, high-frequency PlanetScope imagery as an index to identify forest change in areas of concern, then Amnesty International signals a satellite mission order for a high-resolution Planet SkySat satellite to take an image of the area. . more in detail.
“High resolution images are actually quite rare in these wildlife sanctuaries in Cambodia, so we had to be resourceful with the low resolution images and develop areas of interest to work with high resolution because the protected areas are very expansive,” Micah explained. Farfour, Special Adviser in Remote Sensing for Amnesty International’s Crisis Response Programme.
As well as monitoring deforestation, Planet’s data helps Amnesty International detect land clearing for road development or agriculture, and they recently identified a new road across the eastern boundary of the sanctuary, which could potentially lead to the continued spread of illegal deforestation.
“Much of the access comes from the edges, from the borders, where there are already established roads, but sometimes potentially villages. The new road has not only increased access to the area, it has provided an easy route for illegal logging and transportation of timber outside the sanctuary,” Farfour said.
Planet’s critical work with Amnesty provides a blueprint for greater transparency and scrutiny of potential illegal activity. With this information from space, Amnesty International is able to get an objective picture of actions on the ground and create greater transparency to move beyond reactive monitoring to results-based advocacy.
About Planet Labs PBC
Planet is a leading provider of daily satellite imagery and global geospatial solutions. Planet’s mission is to image the world on a daily basis and to make change visible, accessible and achievable. Founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, Planet designs, builds and operates the largest fleet of Earth observation imaging satellites, capturing and compiling data from more than 3 million images per day. Planet provides critical data, advanced information and software solutions to more than 700 customers, including the world’s leading agriculture, forestry, intelligence, education and finance companies and government agencies, enabling users to simply and efficiently derive unique value from satellite imagery. Planet is a public benefit corporation listed on the New York Stock Exchange as PL. To learn more, visit www.planet.com and follow us on Twitter.
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