The contributions of space-based technologies and applications to support sustainable development are well recognized. Protecting nature and biodiversity specifically is of major importance in that context, especially in a period when climate change, population expansion and increased levels of wildlife crime among other factors are putting a significant pressure on biodiversity and wildlife globally.
Many space technology solutions exist to support the management of ecosystems and to assess or study biodiversity and wildlife, in addition of course to the growing use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for example. Earth Observations and satellite-based positioning but also satellite telecommunications are being used in various projects around the Globe.
It is however widely agreed that such solutions are not always reaching developing countries, or even many other organizations working in this domain. Several initiatives have been established to increase biodiversity conservation effectiveness through enhanced integration of remote sensing technologies in research and applications. The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) have also focused on these issues within the societal benefit areas approach.
In this context the Programme, also responding to requests by Member State representatives at COPUOS, has identified the area of biodiversity and ecosystems as a potential new area of focus, and is aiming at organizing related workshops and capacity building efforts in the future.
This work shall concretely highlight to Member States and partner organizations the diverse space contributions in this domain, and will bring together relevant stakeholders from space industry, government, international organization- and specialized NGO representatives involved in biodiversity and ecosystem or wildlife management issues in sharing their experience with existing space technologies and applications in the field, but also their concrete needs for future missions or applications.
Capacity building and workshops will focus on availability and use of various applications such as tracking and environmental monitoring systems by satellite, wildlife enforcement and tracking/monitoring systems, coral reefs and special habitat regular monitoring from space, to mention a few, and will hopefully facilitate access to such solutions by developing countries and interested organizations.