Astrium satellite imagery to help protect Africa’s forests

  • Astrium and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) are launching the first satellite imagery portal aimed at protecting the forests of Africa
  • More than 600 satellite images are now available to help monitor changes in forest cover in Central Africa
  • By developing space technology to monitor the effectiveness of strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Astrium is helping to fight climate change

News - Protection of the Congo Bassin Forest

Paris, 26 October 2011 – Astrium Services, via its GEO-Information business, and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) have launched a portal to provide satellite imagery of the forests in the Congo Basin to organizations working to conserve the region’s forests. Over 600 SPOT satellite images will now be directly accessible.

By comparing archive imagery against new images it will now possible to track changes in the Congo Basin’s forest cover. Administrations, public institutions and NGOs working on sustainable forest governance in the region will be using the images and the accompanying value-added services to more effectively monitor land use – a key to the sustainable management of the forests in Central Africa. The data is also crucial for measuring the effectiveness of national strategies and defining plans of action as part of the REDD+ programme (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation).



The SPOT satellite images of the Congo Basin will be made available to all organizations working on forest preservation projects that specifically focus on reducing emissions resulting from deforestation or forest degradation, preserving or increasing forest carbon storage, or promoting sustainable forest governance.


Financing for the free portal is being provided by Astrium and by the AFD as part of a broad initiative to protect the forests of the Congo Basin using space technologies. The project is being overseen by a consortium of partners including IGN France International (IGN-FI), the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the Institut Géographique National (IGN), the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) and the international branch of the Office National des Forêts (ONFi).

The space imaging portal for the Congo Basin forests was today officially opened in Paris at the REDD+ workshop, which will bring together economists, scientists, forest management organizations, specialists and technology providers working to preserve tropical forests. The event is being organised by Planet Action, Astrium’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that is helping to fight climate change through the donation of geo-information technologies.

The satellite imagery portal for the forests of the Congo Basin is available at


Astrium Services is recognized as one of the leaders in the geo-information market, not least thanks to the integrated skills and resources of Spot Image and Infoterra. The company provides decision-makers with multiservice solutions permitting them to increase security, protect the environment, or improve their management of natural resources. It enjoys exclusive access to data from the SPOT and TerraSAR-X satellites, coupled with a complete range of space-based data sources and airborne acquisition capability enabling it to offer an unrivalled portfolio of Earth observation services and products. This portfolio covers the entire geo-information supply chain, from the generation of images to their exploitation by the end user.
By making use of the synergies and expertise of Astrium Services, GEO-Information is also capable of developing competitive, innovative solutions based on the combination and integration of Earth observation, navigation and telecommunication application.


About Astrium
Astrium is the number one company in Europe and the third in the world for space technologies. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services.
In 2010, Astrium had a turnover of €5 billion and more than 15,000 employees worldwide, mainly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment, and Astrium Services for comprehensive end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, bespoke geo-information and navigation services worldwide.


EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2010, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 45.8 billion and employed a workforce of nearly 122,000.

Press contacts:
Daniel Mosely (Astrium UK) Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 8180
Gregory Gavroy (Astrium FR) Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32
Ralph Heinrich (Astrium GER) Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971
Francisco Lechón (Astrium SP) Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41


See Also...

Astrium satellite imagery to help protect Africa’s forests