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Remote Sensing Revolutionising Conservation in the Philippines 

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The Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) has forged a transformative partnership with an international non-government organisation whose mission is to conserve the earth’s living heritage and global biodiversity aimed at propelling environmental conservation and management to new heights through the innovative application of remote sensing technologies.

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Together with other collaborators, PhilSA’s Director General, Dr Joel Joseph Marciano, Jr sealed this momentous pact through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) and witnessed by PhilSA’s Space Information Infrastructure Bureau (SIIB) Director.

Dr Joel expressed his enthusiasm and honour in welcoming a valued partner in the endeavour to fortify the country’s burgeoning space ecosystem. He lauded the global leadership in conservation, particularly its innovative Highlands to Oceans (H2O) approach, which encompasses a range of conservation strategies from landscapes to climate resilience and disaster risk reduction.

The crux of this collaboration lies in its potential to revolutionise the way they approach environmental conservation. By harnessing the capabilities of satellite and aerial remote sensing, Philsa opens a gateway to a more profound understanding of the natural world.

The collaboration also aims to leverage space technology for ecosystem research, protection, and sustainable management. The prospect of using these tools to scrutinise vital habitats such as mangrove and seagrass beds holds the potential to inform programmes that resonate with both nature and the communities that rely on them.

Also, it bolsters a strategic plan conservation project tagged as the “The Mantalingahan Landscape Conservation Project in Southern Palawan.” This initiative aims to elevate the management of the protected landscape, setting a precedent for forest conservation on a larger scale.

According to Philsa, the significance of remote sensing technology lies in its ability to efficiently collect data on a large scale, enabling more comprehensive and accurate assessments of environmental conditions. This not only enhances the understanding of these ecosystems but also aids in the sustainable management of natural resources, such as forests and fisheries, ensuring their long-term viability.

Besides, remote sensing technology is crucial for disaster management in a country prone to natural calamities like typhoons and volcanic eruptions. It allows for timely assessment and response, minimising the impact of such events on both ecosystems and communities.

Additionally, in the face of climate change, remote sensing provides essential data for understanding and addressing its effects on the environment and the resilience of local populations. Conservation planning also greatly benefits from remote sensing, as it assists in shaping effective strategies by helping to prioritise and allocate resources judiciously.

Additionally, the agreement encompasses an array of commitments, from the enhancement of capacity-building activities related to satellite data processing and the utilisation of aerial mapping drones to the exchange of expertise in sustainable development and space science and technology applications. The knowledge-sharing component of this collaboration is poised to empower local communities and organisations, equipping them with the tools and skills needed to make a lasting impact.

According to Philsa, as this partnership evolves, it is set to yield not only invaluable data but also a cadre of proficient professionals who will continue to drive progress in environmental conservation. The collaboration is symbolic of the Philippines’ unwavering dedication to preserving its natural heritage and forging a sustainable future. By harnessing the capabilities of remote sensing technologies, they embark on a journey to safeguard the Philippines’ precious natural resources.


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