Collaborative Southern Sudan Monitoring puts emphasis on potential of commercial remote sensing
UNOSAT is continuing its efforts to support UN agencies and humanitarian NGOs as southern Sudan engages in its independence referendum. Acting in consultation with and in support of several agencies including OCHA, WFP, DPKO, UNDP, UNOSAT is delivering high-resolution satellite imagery and analysis over areas of concern to the humanitarian community. This work is carried out in the framework of applied research on monitoring for human security. After developing applied solutions for operational humanitarian relief since 2003, the UNOSAT programme has been breaking new grounds since 2009 in the area of human rights and human security monitoring with the support of the MacArthur Foundation which funds the entire UNOSAT research in this field and a part of its application to concrete cases in which satellite derived analysis can make a diffference. The MacArthur Foundation "supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world".
This activity underscores the potential of today’s commercial very high-resolution satellites to monitor areas of concern to the UN and the international community in general. The satellite industry has responded with enthusiasm to the new challenge laid out by UNOSAT. Even during the holiday period, the Programme has received extensive contributions from DigitalGlobe and European Space Imaging and support from e-Geos, who are leaders in the commercialisation of imagery from next generation earth observation satellites.
Photo: Image of Juba, South Sudan, taken by Quickbird satellite