IEA will use satellite data analytics expertise to protect vulnerable people in Colombia

Posted August 19th, 2020

 

On World Humanitarian Day (August 19) it has been announced that the Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA) has been awarded a contract to use satellite data analytics to protect vulnerable people in informal settlements in Colombia from flooding.

Drawing on the IEA’s expertise in combining Earth observation and satellite data analytics, and working in partnership with the Government of Colombia and Henley Business School, the RIOS project (Re-settlement Information and Observing System) has been funded by the UK Space Agency International Partnership Programme.

Addressing real-world challenge with satellite data analytics

Dr Maria Noguer, Climate Programme Manager at Reading-based IEA, said: “The IEA is delighted to win this contract from the UK Space Agency International Partnership Programme. Once again, we are able to use our innovative environmental and satellite data analytics skills to address a growing real-world challenge in the face of our changing climate, to the benefit of society.

“We will be working with the Colombian Government, through Fondo Adaptación, to protect the lives of people living in informal settlements along the Cauca River where the dam is deteriorating, and their lives are at risk from severe flooding.

These 3 aerial photos, show the extent of the encroachment of an informal settlement onto a perilous flood plain of the Cauca River
Aerial photographs of informal settlements on the Cauca River, on the outskirts of the Colombian city of Cali, show how they have encroached dangerously close to the flood-protection dam along the riverbank. The images show the dam (red line) and the growth of the informal settlements since the 1980s. Source: Corporación Autónoma Regional del Valle del Cauca (CVC) - Fondo Adaptación, 2014.
The UK Space Agency logo

“These new projects have the potential to provide solutions to the world’s biggest development problems by using the latest and most high-tech space technologies such as satellites, and help improve millions of people’s lives in developing countries.”

– Science Minister Amanda Solloway

“Our successful track record in working in partnership with governments around the world, as well as our expertise in pioneering Earth observation data solutions, has been recognised by this funding.”

– Dr Maria Noguer, Climate Programme Manager at the Institute for Environmental Analytics

Pioneering Earth observation data solutions

“Our successful track record in working in partnership with governments around the world, as well as our expertise in pioneering Earth observation data solutions, has been recognised by this funding.”

The IEA’s pioneering project is one of 10 new cutting-edge schemes involving UK companies helping tackle global development problems. The total funding of £3.4m comes from the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP) which uses UK space expertise in satellite technology and data services to deliver ground-breaking solutions to real-world problems across the globe. Projects aim to help developing countries while building effective partnerships that can lead to growth opportunities for the UK space sector.

Backing from UK Science Minister

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “From flooding and climate change, around the world people continue to be affected by crises that are having a profound impact on their countries’ economies and their lives.

“These new projects have the potential to provide solutions to the world’s biggest development problems by using the latest and most high-tech space technologies such as satellites, and help improve millions of people’s lives in developing countries.”

Successful partnerships around the world

The IEA is already successfully delivering RE-SAT, through the IPP, developing data-driven renewable energy generation planning platforms in partnership with the governments of seven small island developing states (SIDS). RE-SAT is improving the energy resilience of islands in the Pacific and Caribbean, supporting governments in making the transition away from fossil fuels to green energy and towards meeting their Paris Agreement green energy targets.

Read more on how the IEA is supporting energy resilience through RE-SAT

Find out more about RE-SAT at https://www.re-sat.com/