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Indonesia: Remote Sensing Tech for Conservation

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Conservation of natural resources requires active participation from all sectors. It’s crucial to recognise that it’s not solely the responsibility of researchers or scientists but also involves contributions from various segments of society and entities. Besides, technology is paramount in enabling informed decision-making and effective resource management in environmental conservation.

In light of this, the National Research and Innovation Agency of Indonesia (BRIN) and the Indonesian Ulama Council (MUI) rely on Remote Sensing Satellites’ advantages in data collection. These advantages include broad coverage, consistent data acquisition, near-real-time capabilities, relatively low costs, factual and current information, and measurability.

For instance, monitoring the water quality has become a critical aspect of the ecosystem stability, through utilising remote sensing data to detect Total Suspended Solids (TSS), the quality of water can be assessed, including whether it falls into the polluted or unpolluted category.

Ety Parwati from PRPJ BRIN emphasised their research efforts in detecting plastic waste and identifying locations with significant waste accumulation. This research aims to provide solutions for addressing the issue of waste management. The ongoing research activities seek to preserve marine ecosystems and the environment.

Remote sensing is a digital technology encompassing various processes and methods that enable the collection of information or data about an object or area without the need for physical presence at the location. An essential aspect of this technology is the utilisation of satellites in the process.

Remote sensing relies on satellites as one of the primary elements for collecting data from various sources. These satellites have multiple instruments and sensors capable of detecting, measuring, and recording different physical and chemical parameters on the Earth’s surface. These instruments include remote sensing cameras, spectrometers, radars, and other devices capable of generating valuable data for multiple applications.

Ety Parwati elaborated on the crucial role of Remote Sensing Data in environmental conservation efforts, specifically focusing on monitoring water quality and addressing marine waste. Ety underscored that the data obtained from remote sensing allows researchers to conduct extensive and continuous monitoring of water resources and coastal environments.

In monitoring water quality, remote sensing can identify parameters such as surface water temperature, dissolved substance concentrations, turbidity levels, and more. This data enables researchers and policymakers to understand changes in water quality at various locations, identify changing patterns over time, and assess the impacts of multiple factors, including human activities.

Furthermore, remote sensing can also be utilised for monitoring marine debris. Plastic and other waste materials discharged into the oceans pose severe global challenges. By employing remote sensing technology, researchers can track the movement patterns of marine debris, identify areas at high risk of exposure, and assist in planning effective waste management and cleanup efforts.

“We require the role of Remote Sensing Satellites due to their advantages in data collection, such as broad coverage, consistent data acquisition, near-real-time capabilities, relatively low costs, factual and current information, and measurability. The utilisation of water quality parameters is crucial for environmental stability. Through the use of remote sensing data in the detection of Total Suspended Solids (TSS), water quality can be measured, including whether it falls into the polluted or unpolluted category,” stated Ety.

Ety believes that in addition to collaboration among various entities and institutions in addressing environmental pollution, maximum utilisation of technology will result in policy decisions based on objective data interpretation. In this context, remote sensing technology has become a vital tool supporting environmental conservation and managing natural resources.


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