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PRESS RELEASE: Second round of 'Satellites for Biodiversity Award' launched in celebration of national space week; inviting conservation applications

In celebration of National Space Week, the second edition of the 'Satellites for Biodiversity Award' takes flight. Its mission propels the adoption of very high-resolution satellite imagery to address the global loss of wildlife and accelerate habitat preservation and efforts to confront the imminent sixth mass extinction event.

A joint initiative by the Connected Conservation Foundation and the Airbus Foundation, this open call invites individuals and not-for-profit organisations to submit proposals that leverage very high-resolution (VHR) satellite data to monitor and safeguard endangered species and their habitats.

Three winning projects will be awarded access to Airbus’s Pléiades and Pléiades Neo satellites. With remarkable capabilities, the Pléiades Neo satellites reveal a 30cm spatial resolution. This detail allows project teams to unveil hidden intricacies, including the migratory paths of elephants, delineations of territorial boundaries and detrimental human interventions within ecosystems.

Furthermore, financial funding of $6,000 USD along with complimentary ESRI software, will help further resource field teams to enhance the creation, analysis and sharing of spatial information, to boost their conservation efforts.

“There is an explosion in the use of AI and satellite imagery for monitoring, protection and verification of natural resources. Increased numbers of use cases are emerging globally across diverse species and geographical settings. With this programme we aim to accelerate the effective applications, beyond constrained use cases, for more wide-reaching impacts,” says Sophie Maxwell, Executive Director of Connected Conservation Foundation.

"The provision of invaluable data to our winners, coupled with the open exchange of insights and knowledge, aims to cultivate heightened efficacy and progress in the use of these techniques for conservation initiatives."

The award is actively seeking out initiatives that deliver solutions or conduct research in collaboration with local communities. These encompass a broad spectrum of possibilities, such as anti-poaching endeavours, strategic land-use management, the prevention of habitat loss, fostering community engagement, planning of wildlife corridors and promoting harmonious coexistence between human activities and the natural world.

Previous winners spanned a remarkable spectrum, ranging from assisting local communities in safeguarding the habitats of at-risk species like the Matschie's tree kangaroo and Eastern long-beaked echidna to forecasting and alleviating human-elephant conflicts within Namibia's sole surviving desert elephant population. 

"After witnessing the impressive number and quality of applications for our first award, we are committed to launching a second round," stated Rachel Schroeder, Managing Director of the Airbus Foundation. "We are gratified that our partnership with CCF allows us to extend our support to a wider range of organisations globally, all of which are involved in crucial conservation efforts."

Applications for the 'Satellites for Biodiversity Award' are now open and will close on Friday 15 December 2023. 

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

Airbus Foundation



About the Partnership 
Connected Conservation Foundation and Airbus Foundation joined forces in 2021 to help preserve wildlife and natural ecosystems by sharing technologies and resources. The five-year agreement sees Airbus’ high-resolution satellite imagery working in collaboration with Connected Conservation Foundation’s on-the-ground digital technologies to help recover and protect populations of threatened species and stop habitat degradation.  

About Connected Conservation Foundation 
Connected Conservation Foundation unites the capabilities of technology companies to equip local partners with game-changing tools for nature protection and restoration. CCF brings essential connectivity, communications and sensing devices to vast landscapes, enabling conservation managers and local communities to pre-empt and stop poaching, habitat loss and human-wildlife conflict in protected areas.  

About Airbus Foundation  
The Airbus Foundation provides access to Airbus’ unique portfolio of high-tech products, services and know-how to help address some of the world’s most pressing problems, contributing to sustainable solutions for a safe and united world. The Foundation prioritises its actions around 3 strategic areas - Humanitarian Aid, Youth Development and Environment - developing partnerships with NGOs and associations around the world to deliver its missions.   

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