Conservation Partnership Launches New Award to Advance Biodiversity Conservation from Space

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Connected Conservation Foundation and Airbus Foundation have today announced a new grant: ‘Satellites for Biodiversity Award’, to accelerate the use of high-resolution satellite imagery for biodiversity conservation.

The open call for proposals invites individuals and not-for-profit organisations to apply to a new grant programme to support projects looking to monitor and manage threatened species and their habitats using high-resolution satellite data.

Winners will receive access to the most advanced optical satellite imagery at 30cm spatial resolution from Airbus Pléiades Neo and 50cm from Pléiades, alongside $5,000 USD of financial funding and Esri software, along with a pipeline of AI models, to extend the creation, analysis, and sharing of spatial data.

This new award coincides with COP15 when global leaders meet in Montreal, Canada on 5–17 December, for the biggest biodiversity conference in a decade.

The grant will support projects that develop or implement solutions or research to advance biodiversity monitoring and habitat conservation.

The use of high-resolution satellite imagery has recently been explored, as part of the CCF Airbus Foundation collaboration, for studying and conserving wildlife. As access to higher resolution Earth Observation imagery increases, there is an opportunity to understand the capabilities and limitations of this exciting new technology in conservation research.

“Availability of remote sensing data is growing rapidly with increasing coverage, image resolution and frequency of acquisition,” says Sophie Maxwell, Executive Director of Connected Conservation Foundation. “We’re excited to collaborate with new partners for practical and effective application of these technologies and to advance exploration of the species and situations where these technologies can strengthen conservation interventions.”

Proposed solutions may include wildlife monitoring of colonies and groups of species in hard-to-reach areas, mapping wildlife habitats, supporting protected areas for sustainable management of resources, understanding migration routes and changing human settlements to help improve human and wildlife coexistence.

The Connected Conservation Foundation and Airbus Foundation collaboration has already explored the use of high-resolution satellite imagery to identify and count large mammals in African savanah environments with variable heterogenous landscapes.

Applicants are welcome to apply to continue this line of work in new geographies, to further understand where these technologies provide most value to conservation activities across homogenous landscapes and seascapes – where the objects of interest have strong contrast to standout within their background environment.

Collaboration between partners is essential. Raising awareness among the general public that remote sensing can become an important and essential component of biodiversity monitoring systems is important,” says Rachel Schroeder, Managing Director Airbus Foundation. “We are prepared to harness the potential of the new generation of satellites to increasingly help protect biodiversity. Supporting projects that develop solutions to advance biodiversity monitoring and conservation is part of the Airbus Foundation’s focus.

Applications for the Satellites for Biodiversity Conservation award are now open and close on February 3rd, 2023.

Full eligibility, criteria and a lightweight application process can be accessed here: