Read here more on recent activities and research projects. We actively develop new algorithms for remote sensing image interpretation, mass data processing and new information products based on machine learning and AI. We present new research results at conferences and scientific publications.
September 1, 2020
3D mapping of 15 million hectares of peatlands supporting BRG – the Indonesian Peat Restoration agencyIndonesia hosts the largest tropical peatland areas worldwide. These landscapes represent huge carbon sinks, formed over the last 15.000 years from deposited plant remains, which accumulate in water-filled oxygen-free depressions. During the last 25 years, peatlands have been intensively converted to agricultural monocultures and extensive plantations, accompanied by ongoing deforestation and peat drainage. Such non-sustainable ...continue reading
August 5, 2020
ESA selected RSS’ marine plastic idea on the Open Space Innovation Platform and kicked-off an Early Technology Development projectLast year, ESA asked via the Open Space Innovation Platform for innovative ideas to detect and track marine plastic litter using satellites. Marine litter is one of the most pressing environmental problems and tackling the issue is gaining momentum at all levels, from political bodies to forward-thinking companies. “Following the promising results of previous ESA ...continue reading
July 22, 2020Wetland extent tools for SDG 6.6.1 reporting from the Satellite-based Wetland Observation Servicecontinue reading
June 5, 2020Two new publications on food security in Africacontinue reading
April 1, 2020The Covid 19 pandemic is a major challenge for us all and requires us to act responsibly. We would like to inform you about the current situation at RSS. We reacted to this new situation and all of our staff is working in the home office. With up-to-date digital communication tools we can maintain a ...continue reading
March 31, 2020In collaboration with the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe) in Nairobi (Kenya) and within a BIOVISION funded project, RSS has developed a satellite-based mechanism and data set on Striga weed (Striga asiatica) spread in Zimbabwe. The damage caused annually by Striga in Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated at US$ 1 billion, affecting the ...continue reading
January 10, 2020A new study published in collaboration with ICIPE this May looks at the effect of agro-ecological landscape fragmentation and its effect on honey bee habitats in Eastern Kenya.continue reading
November 28, 2019CoExist will monitor environmental-related transhumance patterns and will assess the associated risks for population displacement in Chad and the Central African Republic. The project is a cooperation between RSS and IOM (UN Agency - International Organization for Migration) and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy via the DLR Space Administration.continue reading
November 26, 2019RSS helped develop a satellite-based method that is able to discern the spread of, risk and occurrence areas for Prosopis juliflora and Parthenium hysterophorous over wider areas in Somaliland (Africa). Both invasive species are wide-spread in, particularly, African drylands and negatively affect livelihoods of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities.continue reading
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We are very pleased to announce that RSS, as lead of the International Peat Mapping Team, won the Indonesian Peat Prize this morning! The competition aimed to find a new, more accurate and efficient way of mapping tropical peatland extent and thickness, and the Scientific Advisory Board selected our methodology from a number of highly qualified and innovative competitors. The Indonesian government will use our method to protect and manage peatland areas, accelerate peatland restoration and support Indonesia’s development goals. The Indonesian Geospatial Agency BIG will lead the process of using the winning method to improve the current standard for mapping peatland in a scale of 1:50,000, and will start the process by issuing a BIG regulation on peatland mapping.
The contest to find the best methodology to measure the extent and depth of peat in Indonesia drew 44 teams which included some of the biggest names in peat research and mapping. The Prize’s Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), a group of scientists and experts who reviewed the finalists’ submissions, reached a unanimous decision that the International Peat Mapping team produced the most accurate, timely and cost-effective methodology for mapping peatlands.
MAJOR SOURCE OF EMISSIONS
Peat is a major source of carbon dioxide emissions when it burns or decomposes. In 2015, peatlands were responsible for 42% of Indonesia’s total emissions. In the devastating 2015 fire season, forests and peat fires caused 100,000 premature deaths, cost the Indonesian economy $16 billion, and released 1.62 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to the emissions produced by nearly 350,000 cars. The depth, or thickness, of peat soils is an essential measurement; the deeper the peat is, the more ecological damage, including carbon emissions, results from disturbance. Uncertainty around data and information concerning peatland, particularly the depth of peat, has delayed protection and restoration measures for Indonesia’s peatlands, allowing irresponsible parties to continue business as usual, often resulting in drained peat and fires.
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