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March 9, 2016
UK Space Agency Supports Mexico Workshop on Earth Observation Platforms for Forests & Land Use

The UK Space Agency’s (UKSA) International Partnership Space Programme (IPSP) supported a workshop on geo-information platforms to aid the forest sector in Mexico, as part of the “Advancing Earth Observation Applications for Forests” project, co-ordinated by Ecometrica.

The meeting was held in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas and was attended by delegates from over 7 different state forestry commissions within Mexico plus representatives of Federal agencies, research organisation, US NGOs, and an ESA supported project. The workshop was organised by EcoLogic Development Fund, a NGO working in Mexico to strengthen state-level capacities for Forest Monitoring, Reporting and Verification for REDD+.

Several different mapping platforms are under development or in use within the forest sector and a key finding was the need to enable systematic sharing of information and the delivery of content without the need for end users to download original datasets. The main platform providers have agreed to discuss integration and communication between platforms.

With support from UKSA, the project has invested £3.2 million in research and development of digital infrastructure and content to advance the application of Earth Observation in forests, establishing the UK and our international partners as trusted and globally important providers of EO derived content, EO data acquisition and content management infrastructure.

A key objective of the IPSP project was to establish regional EO Labs – Ecometrica’s powerful cloud based information infrastructure which allows improved stewardship of data and linkages to powerful earth system models. EO Labs are supporting a growing international network of connected EO derived data products, facilitating improved decision making and research excellence. In Mexico alone, the EO Lab is enabling collaboration between research and NGOs to develop applications monitoring forest change in Chiapas; local conservation activities in the El Ocote biosphere reserve; and identifying areas for Mangrove restoration.

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