NASA satellite data to aid global conservation

NASA and IUCN - The World Conservation Union, the world's largest environmental knowledge network, signed a joint declaration today in Bangkok, Thailand, to use NASA satellite data to help in worldwide conservation efforts.

The purpose of the joint declaration is to improve IUCN access to NASA data, technology, images and remote sensing products. IUCN members and commissions will incorporate the data to help improve the quality and effectiveness of environmental decision-making and to improve conservation outcomes.

"This opportunity for NASA to help advance conservation efforts globally reinforces our vision to use our unique vantage from space to improve life here on Earth," said NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator for Science Ghassem Asrar. "Modern environmental and conservation decision- support systems need access to good information. Increasingly, these systems are using geospatial technologies to provide decision-makers with a range of possible options and, in the future, could be used to predict possible outcomes," he said.

IUCN is a unique union of more than 1,000 worldwide member organizations. Its mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable.

"The potential for the beneficial use of this information in the area of the environment and conservation is enormous," said IUCN Director General Achim Steiner. "Yet until now, it has remained largely untapped, particularly in the developing world," he added.

Advances in technology have made NASA's remote sensing data and images accessible and affordable worldwide by most organizations. IUCN has unparalleled access to a rich source of conservation information and knowledge. Its global membership ranges from small community-base

Contact: Gretchen Cook-Anderson
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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