1st UK climate tools accepted into international space climate observatory

25/05/2023

THE UK’s first climate projects to be accepted into the international Space Climate Observatory are announced by Space4Climate. They are:

  • Strata – an early warning system to identify where climate change could impact areas already affected by natural disasters or conflict, led by the University of Edinburgh
  • Space4Nature – Using satellites and AI to map habitats’ led by Surrey Wildlife Trust

The announcement is being made at the first Global Space for Climate Conference (GLOC) in Oslo, Norway.

The Space Climate Observatory (SCO) is an international initiative, with 32 signatories including the UK, and Space4Climate is the official SCO UK coordination point for the UK Space Agency.
SCO-labelled climate tools feature on its interactive website where those looking for trustworthy and reliable tools can search by topic, geographical area and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) they meet.

Each applicant must demonstrate that their product or project meets 11 different criteria as an operational tool for climate decision-makers, fully leveraging the potential of satellite data together with socio-economic data for climate monitoring, mitigation and adaptation at a local scale. The tool must be co-designed with end-users to answer specific needs. It should be able to be easily modified to be adapted to other geographic areas facing similar climate challenges.

The first successful UK applicants have welcomed their acceptance.

Kristina Tamane, Space Sector Business Development Lead at University of Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted to get the SCO recognition for the Strata project delivered with our partners in the United Nations and EarthBlox. Decision-making tools like Strata are a key part of the offer from the University of Edinburgh around climate change mitigation using big data sets and world-leading expertise to make a real difference globally.”

Andrew Jamieson, Project Manager for Space4Nature atSurrey Wildlife Trust, said: “Space4Nature is a mission with major ambitions for habitat management and conservation within Surrey and potentially far more widely. The data we are collecting will also contribute to our understanding of climate change and its potential effects on landscapes and species.  Becoming SCO compliant extends the reach of our project and exemplifies our commitment to forming partnerships to address the major issues facing our environment.” 

Beth Greenaway, Head of Earth Observation and Climate at the UK Space Agency, said: “It’s fantastic to see Strata and Space4Nature announced as the UK’s first climate projects to be accepted into the international Space Climate Observatory during the first Global Space Conference on Climate Change. These projects will provide vital information to help deal with the effects of climate change and improve lives across the world.

“Strata’s game-changing online platform will provide access to up-to-date climate security data that helps countries plan ahead for natural disasters, while Space4Nature’s innovative plan to combine satellite technology and artificial intelligence will help us monitor and improve precious wildlife habitats.

“Being part of the Space Climate Observatory not only demonstrates the UK Space Agency’s commitment to our Earth Observation sector but helps connect UK scientists and experts with a global community of like-minded organisations committed making a positive impact on climate change.”

Space4Climate will be issuing calls for further products and projects to apply for  SCO-compliant labelling in due course.

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