Translations are provided automatically. We apologise for any inaccuracies that may occur and recommend referring to the English language version if possible.
  • English
  • Arabic
  • Bulgarian
  • Croatian
  • Czech
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Estonian
  • Finnish
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Hungarian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Maltese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Spanish
  • Swedish
Translations are provided automatically. We apologise for any inaccuracies that may occur and recommend referring to the English language version if possible.
Space News

How Colombia can lead the fight against deforestation thanks to EU space data

9 June 2023

Environment and
digitalisation stand high in the cooperation agenda between the European Union and Colombia, and European space capabilities are key for both. On 22 June, the European Union Delegation to Colombia and the Directorate-General for Defence Industry and Space of the European Commission are organising a webinar on “
EU Space capabilities and business opportunities in support of deforestation monitoring and traceability solutions in Colombia” to showcase how Copernicus, EGNOS and Galileo can provide added value in forest management, product traceability and the fight against deforestation.

The longstanding EU-Colombia partnership plays a pivotal role in the deepening bi-regional cooperation between the EU and the Latin America & Caribbean region (LAC); the EU-LAC Digital Alliance was signed on 14 March 2023 against this backdrop.

The EU-LAC Digital Alliance emerges in the context of the EU’s Global Gateway strategy with the aim to increase digital cooperation between the two regions and facilitate digital transformation in the LAC region. The EU Space Programme, and in particular its Earth Observation component Copernicus, is one of the key instruments underpinning this multi-dimensional effort. Strengthened cooperation in Earth Observation will boost the use of Copernicus data in the region, specifically on key sectors such as environmental resilience (including deforestation), emergency management and adaptation to climate change, and will contribute to upgrading local capacities, thereby fostering sustainable growth in LAC.  


Deforestation and evidence-based forest management: the topics of the next webinar

Natural forests are the lungs of our planet: they play a crucial role in the world’s ecosystem, absorbing carbon, purifying waters, and representing a hotbed of flora and fauna biodiversity. In Colombia, natural forests cover around 52% of the country’s land area, making forest management and the fight against deforestation priorities which the European Union is ready to support. In this regard, the webinar will showcase how the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service can effectively contribute to map and monitor forest biomass, supporting authorities and scientists in the fight against forest degradation and deforestation and helping them estimate the carbon sink potential of green areas.

But the EU Space Programme unleashes its full potential in the sector of forestry when Earth Observation capabilities are coupled with the Position, Navigation and Timing (PNT) services of EGNOS and Galileo. Thanks to ultra-precise Galileo signals, heavy machinery, drones and other vehicles can be guided even under thick tree canopies. The process of planting new trees represents an excellent example of EO-PNT synergy: in a first phase, Copernicus geospatial imagery could identify optimal areas with the right soil conditions; subsequently, Galileo-enabled aerial or ground vehicles would be tasked to conduct additional terrain analyses and guide plantation activities in the most accurate manner, thus saving resources.

Such synergies also provide solutions for the traceability of products sourced from forest lands, rendering supply chains transparent and sustainable. According to the World Bank, 15-30% of timber is harvested and exported illegally at the global level; Earth Observation can support authorities in the identification of illegal logging activities by spotting the construction of unauthorized roads and buildings in forest areas, while GNSS-enabled applications can be employed to track individual logs and trace them back to their place of origin.

The issue of deforestation has gained greater relevance with the introduction of the new EU Regulation on deforestation and forest degradation, which will prompt exporters and traders of palm oil, cattle, wood, coffee, cocoa, rubber, and soy to the European market to conduct mandatory due diligence on their products. The Regulation will also create a benchmarking system, where countries will be classified depending on the risk level related to deforestation. The EU Space Programme components Copernicus and Galileo have therefore become key to assisting Colombian and regional authorities in tackling illegal and irresponsible deforestation activities, which damage local communities, consumers and ecosystems.

The use of space infrastructure for evidence-based forest management and the fight against deforestation can also provide new, sustainable, business opportunities, as European and Latin American companies will showcase on 22 June. Ultimately, this webinar will provide new outlooks to stakeholders from Colombia and the region on the latest developments and best practices in forest sustainability based on EU space capabilities.


→  Register here for the webinar 

→  Read more about the EU-LAC Digital Alliance

→  Read more about the Global Gateway strategy for the LAC region

→  Read the EU Regulation on deforestation and forest degradation

→  Explore our global market report for the LAC region