Monday, February 13, 2012

Satellites for Climate Checks Get Boost After Durban Talks

Feb. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Brazilian deforestation and melting polar ice caps are feeding a boom in demand in the $2.1 billion market for satellite data, images and services used to monitor the planet...

Illegal Logging - Satellites also serve to step up surveillance of illegal logging, said Mark Brender, executive director of the GeoEye Foundation, a non-profit organization set up by GeoEye Inc.

"Satellites are like a silent watchman in space looking down on Earth," Brender said, citing a project to unveil rosewood trafficking and illegally sourced timber in Madagascar.

One developing country that's tapping satellite intelligence is the African republic of Gabon. President Ali-Ben Bongo Ondimba in 2010 set up AGEOS, a national space observation agency that will also monitor the environment in 20 neighboring nations, including Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

"The knowledge of our environment is thanks mainly to satellites," the project's chief, Aboubakar Mambimba, said in a phone interview from Gabon's capital, Libreville. "It gives us knowledge on the state of our forests, our water resources and helps us implement effective policies to preserve the environment."

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