Brazil/China: Chinese-Brazilian satellite images to be distributed free to Africa

29 November 2007

Cape Town, South Africa, 29 Nov – Brazil and China plan to freely distribute satellite images to Africa that will aid the observation of natural disasters and other phenomena, officials from both countries said in Cape Town Wednesday.

Gilberto Camara, director of the National Institute for Space Research, in cape Town to take part in the 4th meeting of Group for Earth Observation (GEO) said that up to date images of Africa’s agricultural areas were “invaluable.”

A joint statement issued in Cape Town said that supplying the satellite images would allow African governments and organizations to respond to natural disasters, deforestation and drought, as well as threats to agricultural production and food security.

Brazil and China will also supply the software needed to allow earth stations to read the data supplied by the satellites.

The first station, based in South Africa, will begin immediately receiving the data, Camara said, and this will be followed by a station in Kenya, at the beginning of 2008, and the Canary Island and Matera, Italy, in June.

The CBERS-2B satellite is the third in a series of the remote sensing project as part of the China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) Program started in 1988.

The CBERS program is now considered to be a valuable tool for establishing public policy for areas such as environmental supervision, agricultural development and urban planning.

Two further CBERS satellites are due to be launched in 2010 and 2012. (macauhub)