CloudFerro EO4UA – Earth Observation for Ukraine

 CloudFerro EO4UA – Earth Observation for Ukraine

In support of the humanitarian support effort in Ukraine and especially the food crisis as a result of the war, Polish Earth Observation company CloudFerro initiated the EO4UA (Earth Observation for Ukraine) project, which has grown into one of the leading space data support efforts in the world!

Find all up-to-date information on the EO4UA initiative on the official project webpage here.

The war in Ukraine is a terrible tragedy, not only for humanity, but also for the environment. Ukraine is a large agricultural country covering 60 million hectares, of which 42 million is agricultural land. Therefore, Ukraine is an important producer and exporter of wheat, spring barley, sun flower oil/seed, corn and sugar beets.

A Global Food Crisis

As a result of the war and a naval blockade of Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea, these commodities will not reach importers, most of whom are from underdeveloped countries that are hit extra hard from this food crisis. On top of this, inflation and the embargo on Russian goods, including fertilisers, could result in an increase of global food prices by 8% to 22% this year, according to the FAO.

Consequently, the number of undernourished people in the world will increase by 8 to 13 million people in 2022/23, with the most pronounced increases taking place in Asia-Pacific, followed by sub-Saharan Africa, the Near East, and North Africa (FAO, 2022).

Europe consumes half of Ukraine’s production of sunflower oil, which can be found in a variety of food and it may be difficult to replace (e.g. in baby food). This pressure on the vegetable oil market will most likely lead to an increase in biofuel prices.   

Another huge potential environmental loss in Ukraine is related to massive deforestation. It is argued that Russia will sell the timber from Ukraine to finance its military activities. The Russian invasion in Ukraine is a big threat to the environment and global food security, and as a consequence, will lead to a large humanitarian crisis across many countries. Therefore it is essential to monitor the Ukrainian environment and crop production, so mitigation actions can be implemented.

CloudFerro EO4UA initiative

CloudFerro has started a bottom-up EO4UA initiative that aims at supporting Ukrainian and international authorities in assessing environmental losses by provisioning processing capabilities combined with a large repository consisting of Earth Observation (EO) satellite data and higher-level products generated by end-users. The repository will contain “core” data sets (e.g. Sentinels’ imageries, crop classifications, boundaries of agricultural fields, etc.) which are indispensable for versatile environmental analyses. The results of analyses conducted by end-users, together with the products generated, will also be stored within the repository to facilitate consecutive studies.

CloudFerro presents the EO4UA project at the Living Planet Symposium in May 2022 (photo: Nataliia Kussul on Twitter)

The members of EO4UA initiative are EO professionals from private, public and academic sectors willing to support Ukraine by providing state-of-the-art expertise in EO analytics and by cooperating with Ukrainian scientists. The EO4UA initiative is open for new members who will make a significant contribution to help Ukraine. In this respect, a funding system is foreseen for computing grants, especially for Ukrainian researchers. For more information, please contact:

EO4UA Objectives

The CloudFerro project has six key objectives:

  • Monitor the Ukrainian environment, especially food production and forestry 
  • Help Ukrainian scientists to continue their research work 
  • Gather EO experts willing to help Ukrainians 
  • Provide a large processing environment combined with an EO data repository 
  • Facilitate consecutive studies by providing outcomes of the previous ones 
  • Inform the general public about the environmental condition in Ukraine  

Project Evolution

Over the last months, several organisations have joined CloudFerro in support of the EO4UA project, and more are joining every month:

Action Plan

  1. [Done] Provide CREODIAS environment for Kyiv Polytechnic Institute
  2. [Done] Generate Sentinel-1 CARD products over Ukraine for 2021 and 2022 
  3. [In progress] Generate Sentinel-2 L2A MAJA product over Ukraine for 2021 and 2022 
  4. [Done] Delineate agriculture fields using soCAP for selected AOIs 
  5. [Done] Generate soCAP products for selected AOIs 
  6. [In progress] Classify crops over Ukraine using Sentinel imagery 
  7. [In progress] Monitor forest fires and deforestation over Ukraine using Sentinel imagery
  8. [In progress] Predict crop yields in 2022
  9. [Done] Provide CREODIAS environment for EUSpace4Ukraine hackathon organized by EUSPA

Remco Timmermans

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