IUCN-GLCF Joint Press Release

February 23, 2005

Major Donation of Satellite Imagery for Protected Areas Hit by Tsunami

DigitalGlobe, a commercial satellite operation, has made a major donation to the conservation community for post-tsunami restoration. It was made through an IUCN member, Global Land Cover Facility (http://landcover.org) at the University of Maryland, for the use of IUCN members and partners worldwide on tsunami related work. The collection includes over 100 scenes of parks and protected areas in the region.

DigitalGlobe's satellite, QuickBird , provides some of the highest resolution digital imagery available. It has a fine resolution sensor measuring the Earth at 61 cm per pixel. DigitalGlobe's imagery is particularly useful in determining tsunami impacts in inaccessible regions.

The entire collection may be downloaded free of charge from www.landcover.org.

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The imagery donated by DigitalGlobe covers some of the most biologically diverse protected areas in the Indian Ocean region and will aid IUCN in assessing environmental impacts of the tsunami.

The will help efforts to better understand not just the short-term implications of the tsunami for these areas, but also to better understand the long-term natural regeneration process and the role of protected areas in rebuilding dependent communities.

Protected areas are an integral part of the reconstruction effort and are tied to a variety of humanitarian concerns.

Visit the Global Land Cover Facility at www.landcover.org to download these innovative products. Online documentation has been provided explaining the transformation process and crediting the source materials made available through DigitalGlobe. Further details and imagery are available through DigitalGlobe at http://www.digitalglobe.com.

The Global Land Cover Facility is a research and information center located at the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies. As a member of the Research, Education, and Applications Solutions Network (REASoN) program, the GLCF is sponsored by NASA's Office of Earth Science Applications Division, through cooperative agreement NNG04GC53A. The GLCF appreciates support from NASA for this and all its activities.

Created in 1948, IUCN The World Conservation Union brings together 83 States, 114 government agencies, 800 plus NGOs, and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership. IUCN's mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. IUCN is the world's largest environmental knowledge network and has helped over 75 countries to prepare and implement national conservation and biodiversity strategies. IUCN is a multicultural, multilingual organization with 1000 staff located in 62 countries. Its headquarters are in Gland, Switzerland. http://www.iucn.org press@iucn.org

Image caption: QuickBird image of Chilika Lake protected area, India. Chilika Lake is a RAMSAR Wetland of International Importance and is the largest brackish lake in India. It is home to over 118 species of fish and supports numerous migratory and resident bird life. Source: RAMSAR Sites Database.

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