In September 2020, Norway’s Ministry of Climate & Environment awarded KSAT, Planet, and Airbus a contract to bring comprehensive access to high-resolution (<5m) satellite monitoring of the tropics to help stop tropical deforestation and combat climate change. This contract opens analysis-ready Planet’s Basemaps of the tropics under an open access non-commercial licence in support of the Purpose of Norway’s International Climate & Forests Initiative.
A key goal of this program is to enable, and bring together, all users from local to regional to global scale and reduce the barriers to access. Indigenous communities have been gathering knowledge and providing essential services of incomparable value with limited resources. Indigenous communities can benefit from access to, and support with access to, data and solutions to complement activities in their local communities. Yet internet connectivity, language and specialized knowledge are still barriers to indigenous communities wishing to explore how earth observation, or geospatial information in general, can support their activities. Public sources such as Sentinel-2 are increasingly used, but with the launch of the NICFI Satellite Data Program there is interest to see how the higher spatial and temporal resolution data can supplement and grow existing analyses. Exposing the data to different users within, and connected to, the Indigenous community can also help identify different and more diverse use cases.
The GEO Indigenous Alliance
The GEO Indigenous Alliance was founded by Indigenous leaders at the 2019 GEO Canberra Ministerial Summit in Canberra, Australia, with a vision to protect and sustain Indigenous cultural heritage by using Earth observation science, data, and technology to create a knowledge base that sustains the Earth on which we live. Addressing today's challenges requires creative problem solvers with diverse perspectives who are willing to see the world through the lenses of Indigenous knowledge and western science. The GEO Indigenous Alliance was born out of a desire to inspire and support Indigenous peoples around the world to access and use Earth observation data and tools to co-create culturally relevant solutions to the problems they face.
The aim of this outreach is not only to engage the Indigenous community and help connect them with other users and stakeholders, who can not only learn from them, but also work with them to understand the benefit of this data to support the conservation of the forests on their lands.
This webinar is the first step to introduce the program, present Indigenous-led use cases from the GEO Indigenous Alliance, and lay the foundations for future partnerships based on mutual trust and respect.
It will then be followed by a Roundtable at the end of June 2022 (date tbc) to bring the webinar discussion and outcomes to a wider group of both Indigenous Peoples and other stakeholders that could be helpful for, or have programs to support, Indigenous communities with technological, financial and other resources.