Planet Celebrates One Year of the NICFI Satellite Data Program, Providing High-Resolution Data for Tropical Forest Management

by | Oct 28, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO- Planet, a leading provider of daily data and insights about earth, is celebrating one year of the NICFI Satellite Data Program, a partnership with Norway's International Climate and Forests Initiative (NICFI)Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT), and Airbus to advance scientific discovery and support sustainable management of global tropical forests. Participants in the NICFI Satellite Data Program are putting Planet data to work to help reduce and reverse tropical forest loss through government actionprivate sector adoption, and NGO coordination.

In September 2020, the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment awarded KSAT the first ever global contract to combat deforestation. Since then, it has worked with Planet and Airbus to provide comprehensive access to high-resolution satellite monitoring of the tropics to help reduce tropical deforestation and combat climate change.

Over the last year, the NICFI Satellite Data Program has registered over 9,000 users from 130 countries around the world. The Planet Tropical Basemaps account for over two-thirds of the Basemap selections on Global Forest Watch, a figure that is growing by 25% each quarter. Over 15 million tiles of the Planet Tropical Basemaps have been streamed from the Planet platform, and 70% of surveyed NICFI users said the NICFI Data is now their primary imagery source.

The Program has established working relationships with a number of key partners across its three levels of access. These include Purpose Allies, which bring Visual Basemaps to local and global communities, the Platform and Tool Partners, which enable technical workflows on the Analysis-Ready Basemaps, and the General Partners, which apply the Scenes-level data.

This past quarter, the NICFI Satellite Data Program launched a number of new, consequential partnerships including a new partnership with Google Earth Engine, which made the NICFI-Planet Tropical Basemaps available in Google Earth Engine's compute platform for analysis. Users can access the data directly in their GEE catalogue, with no need to store or move data. Within the first month of the solution, over 1,100 NICFI users began to analyze the Tropical Basemaps within Google Earth Engine.

The NICFI Satellite Data Program also announced new partnerships to enable visual and story-telling use cases. Mapbox released a suite of demo tools aimed at helping NICFI users more readily translate the high-resolution data into visual story-telling tools. These include providing users with templates to display Planet-NICFI Basemaps on an interactive Mapbox webmap, enabling them to select from multiple time periods to compare change over time, and allowing them to create a swipe interaction to display two sets of Planet-NICFI imagery side-by-side for easy comparison. The Program Team also hosted a training webinar to help journalists use the data for environmental reporting in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

To date, the NICFI Satellite Data Program has gathered over 300 user stories. This quarter many users shared their stories at Planet Explore, Planet's annual user conference:

  • The European Space Agency and Gisat presented on how their team is combining the NICFI-Planet Basemaps with the SAR band of Sentinel-1 to improve deforestation detection and carbon mapping in the Amazon.
  • The Government of Uganda shared how their team, in partnership with the United Nations, is using the NICFI-Planet Basemaps to improve its Measurement, Reporting, and Verification to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
  • PepsiCo discussed how it is leveraging the NICFI-Planet Basemaps via Global Forest Watch Pro to begin incorporating satellite monitoring into their environmental impact assessments in sourcing regions.
  • The Wildlife Conservation Society and National Council for Protected Areas in Guatemala showed how they are using the Planet-NICFI Data to detect and intervene in illegal deforestation in the Maya Biosphere Reserve. The number one driver of deforestation in the Reserve is cattle ranching, and the high-resolution Planet data allows them to detect ranching infrastructure and illegal conversion to pastureland.

In year two of the program, Planet looks forward to seeing how partners and users continue to innovate on how to leverage high-resolution satellite monitoring to reduce and reverse tropical forest loss and combat climate change.

About Planet:
Planet is the leading provider of global, daily satellite imagery and geospatial solutions. Planet is driven by a mission to image the world every day, and make change visible, accessible and actionable. Founded in 2010 by three NASA scientists, Planet designs, builds, and operates the largest Earth observation fleet of imaging satellites, capturing and compiling data from over 3 million images per day. Planet provides mission-critical data, advanced insights, and software solutions to over 700 customers, comprised of the world's leading agriculture, forestry, intelligence, education and finance companies and government agencies, enabling users to simply and effectively derive unique value from satellite imagery. Earlier this year, Planet entered into a definitive merger agreement with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (NYSE:DMYQ), a special purpose acquisition company, to become a publicly-traded company later this year. To learn more visit and follow us on Twitter at @planet.


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