Planet Labs PBC, a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, announced its partnership with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Space Agency, to build a regional satellite data-driven loss and damage atlas for climate change resilience. The initiative aims to provide data to a select country facing high degrees of climate risk to help build resilience, make informed policy decisions, and stimulate financial programs for climate adaptation and mitigation.
The data facility plans to initially focus on compiling data for a select climate-vulnerable country for purposes of quantifying damages caused by extreme weather events, such as floods and drought and helping to establish early-warning systems. With access to high-frequency, high-resolution satellite data and analytical tools, the goal is to make these foundational datasets available to governments, NGOs, and related parties so that they can develop insights on climate-related topics like population distribution, wildfire and flood risks, agricultural productivity and food security, and physical assets.
“Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we as a planet have ever faced, and it’s critical that vulnerable countries are able to have real, tangible insights to build resilience,” said Will Marshall, Planet co-founder and CEO. “Satellite data can help to capture those insights and to help build early warning systems for climate risks, but we can’t do it alone. We are proud of our partnership with the UAE Space Agency to get this data into the hands of important participants.”
Planet is set to provide key data assets and capabilities for this atlas, including:
- Access to PlanetScope satellite data for the exemplary country, to leverage a near-daily country-level imagery scan, at 3 meter resolution, and see gradual change happening, such as coastal erosion.
- SkySat Tasking capabilities, to identify specific areas of interest and capture fine details, at 50 centimeter resolution, of swiftly changing events, such as the immediate impacts of flooding damage.
- Use of the Roads and Building Change Detection analytics feed, to receive AI-enhanced insights on rapid urban growth in regions facing climate risk.
- Access to the Soil Moisture Content Planetary Variables data feed, to monitor near-daily changes in soil moisture, at 100 meters per pixel, in regions such as agricultural lands threatened by drought.
- Insights from the Land Surface Temperature Planetary Variables data feed, to illuminate temperature fluctuations over time, such as climate change-induced rising urban and rural heat.
- With partners, provide technical training and engagement with end-user organizations, through webinars, on-site training, and engagement with local universities and academic partners to ensure the data is used effectively.
“This project is an act of data diplomacy from the UAE to a country facing disproportionate risks from climate change, and it’s vital to help it access the digital tools and resources to manage for a sustainable and secure future. The UAE government has made sustainability and preserving the environment top priorities, reflected by launching the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative nationally. In line with this direction, the UAE Space Agency has launched several initiatives and projects to ensure that we are doing our part and further driving the global journey towards sustainability, and support of the Climate Change initiatives,” said H.E. Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency.
This project was conceived in response to several COP27 (the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference) initiatives, including the decision to accelerate the implementation of the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage where developed nations have been urged to extend financial aid, technology, and expertise to developing countries to tackle the loss and damage resulting from climate change. Additionally, the atlas’s objectives align with the World Meteorological Organization’s Early Warning Systems for All initiative, aiming to enhance the availability and accessibility of early warning systems for hazards such as extreme weather, water, and climate-related events in climate-vulnerable countries.