Malaysia’s megadiverse ecosystems are home to thousands of species of flora and fauna that sustain the country’s environmental, social, and economic well-being. The country’s recent population growth and rapid increase of exported commodities, however, are threatening the natural capital on which they depend. As conservation of forested areas has become a top priority for federal departments and private industries, the demand for high-resolution, high-cadence data has skyrocketed. The Government of Malaysia has partnered with Planet to leverage the company’s constellation of optical earth observation satellites to monitor deforestation, understand drivers of forest loss, and manage protected lands.
Planet’s 200 active satellites collect over 350M sq km of imagery daily and its extensive global archive allows users to compare changes over time. PlanetScope offers near-daily, medium-resolution monitoring of Earth’s landmass everyday and can be used to construct temporal basemaps at weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly intervals. Alternatively, SkySat can capture a specific area of interest up to ten times a day at high-resolution. Together, Planet’s constellation helps customers like the Government of Malaysia detect anomalies in its land cover and land use and take relevant action based on these changes.
Since the turn of the century, half of Malaysia’s forests have been lost to deforestation from expanding commercial farming, mining operations, and industrial logging. In response to these growing threats, the government’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment established the National Policy on Biological Diversity 2016 – 2025, an expansion of its original formulation in 1998. The policy’s goal is to address critical issues related to pressures on the country’s biodiversity and to have 50% of all agricultural areas sustainably managed by 2025.
To help achieve these goals, the Government of Malaysia is using PlanetScope’s imagery to monitor approximately 20,000 sq km of forests for any signs of illegal deforestation, unsanctioned settlements, resource mining, lumber harvesting, and land-clearing for cash crop development. Satellite imagery allows users to create more accurate and consistent maps of land cover in certain areas, including statistics on forest changes and forest damage information systems. Planet’s unique, near-daily cadence of medium to high-resolution imagery allows the Government of Malaysia to rapidly detect these changes, which is the first step for enforcing compliance with the country’s policies, and helps them evaluate the effectiveness of solutions to these threats.
Planet provides two valuable resources for the Government of Malaysia to combat illegal deforestation. The first is an extensive archival dataset that can be referenced with present imagery to reveal insights in consumption patterns and rates of growth for specific industries. The second is an accurate, real-time method to monitor current changes in the country’s forest cover. Both empower Malaysia’s decision-making capabilities and help ensure they meet their sustainable targets.
Planet welcomes the opportunity to further engage and provide our services to the Government of Malaysia to assist Malaysia in meeting some of its most ambitious goals. Planet’s near-daily temporal imagery cadence and datasets can provide an objective source of truth that can empower Malaysian agencies, partners, and key stakeholders with the right information to make informed decisions on issues that matter most to the Government and the people of Malaysia.
Join us on October 13 – 14 for Explore 2021, where Planet’s global community of users, customers, and partners will discuss how they’re using satellite imagery to develop innovative solutions across a variety of sectors! Learn more and register for the event here and we hope to see you there!