CNESMAG 84 – Biodiversity: building resilience

CNESMAG 84 – Biodiversity: building resilience

The 84th edition of CNESMAG is dedicated to the methods used by the space agencies and industries to protect biodiversity.

The 84th edition of CNESMAG is dedicated to the methods used by the space agencies and industries to protect biodiversity.

Editorial of Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES :

The lockdown period has seen nature reasserting its rights in many places, like the dolphins that have returned to the canals of Venice. Looking beyond the health situation on everyone’s minds right now, the COVID-19 crisis is thus prompting us to rethink our relationship with nature. The footprint we humans leave on habitats is disrupting natural ecosystems and increasing the risk of spreading zoonotic diseases. The scientists of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) are now calling for a concerted effort to preserve natural areas and the species that live in them. For close on 20 years, the space community has strived to document, map and observe biodiversity. Satellites are watching over forests, measuring soil moisture, tracking habitats and hundreds of species to analyse their behaviour. New hyperspectral technologies are set to deliver deeper insights into forest and cropland biomass and the carbon sinks they represent. Through its field centre in French Guiana, CNES is keenly aware of its role as guardian of the region’s extremely rich flora and fauna. It is adopting this same attitude at the Toulouse Space Centre and stepping up to the plate through the Act4Nature initiative of the Ministry for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition. The time for alerting is behind us; now is the time for action, and CNES is gearing up to play its part in building a new resilience for the future.

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