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March 12, 2019

Cool Earth’s MEL team awarded funds from AeroSpace Cornwall | March 2019


Cool Earth is pleased to have been awarded funds from AeroSpace Cornwall, a programme funded by the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.

The funds totalling £120,854 will support Cool Earth’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team to invest its time in innovative projects to use the latest earth observation (EO) satellite data to monitor canopy cover in threatened rainforests and to forecast and mitigate potential future deforestation.

AeroSpace Cornwall supports businesses to exploit the aerospace and space sectors in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and helps Cornish SMEs to expand their space-related commercial activities. Goonhilly Earth Station, the Aerohub Enterprise Zone and Spaceport Cornwall are just a few examples of Cornwall’s growing aerospace capabilities. For Cool Earth, the most exciting element of this growth is the availability of EO data and geolocation services downstream of space and aerospace sectors. This will help Cool Earth pioneer new ways of working as a climate change and rainforest conservation charity.

Aerial image of rainforest canopy

This grant will support Cool Earth’s UK based MEL team to validate satellite data with the forest communities in its partnerships including different types of land cover and indicators of deforestation. The team will work with communities to record intact and recovering rainforest, forest gardens, and illegal encroachment into community territory from agricultural concessions and selective logging. The combination of data from space and data from partner communities will build a complete picture of rainforests under threat and support the development of new strategies to keep them standing.

This is all part of Cool Earth’s work to ensure forest communities are as equipped and supported as they can be when it comes to protecting their trees and continuing to learn from the last 10 years of its activities.

MEL Manager Natalie Gawor said “AeroSpace Cornwall has provided a fantastic opportunity for Cool Earth to kick-off its work and to understand better how it can utilise cutting-edge research and technology alongside forest communities to protect rainforest for many years to come”.

Peter Munro-Lott, Project Manager at AeroSpace Cornwall said AeroSpace Cornwall is delighted to be working the Cornwall-based charity Cool Earth as part of our mandate to develop and sustain local enterprises in their use of technology. Cool Earth’s use of satellite data is at the cutting-edge of aerospace technology and will enable them to take forward their understanding and exploitation of space-based data. We look forward to quickly seeing the benefits of the AeroSpace Cornwall investment and Cool Earth increasing their capability to protect the rainforests.

From ground-truthing satellite data to the development of a new model to forecast deforestation, it’s going to be a busy, forward-thinking year for Cool Earth’s MEL Team in Cornwall.

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