North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson has welcomed news that the Swindon based UK Space Agency (UKSA) has received a prestigious award for its sustainable development initiative.
The GEO (Group on Earth Observations) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Award, which celebrates productivity, innovation, novelty, and exemplary efforts in the use of Earth observations for sustainable development, was awarded to the UKSA in recognition of its International Partnership Programme (IPP).
The programme is a space for sustainable development’ initiative which invests £30 million each year in projects around the world, and the currently the largest undertaking of its kind in the world, providing funding for 43 projects in 47 developing countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
The IPP is designed to use UK expertise in satellite technology and data services to deliver ground-breaking solutions to real-world problems, including reducing deforestation, climate and disaster resilience, food security, education, health, maritime safety and renewable energy.
In addition to this, an IPP project called ‘D-MOSS’ (Dengue MOdel forecasting Satellite-based System) also picked up one of the prestigious GEO Awards today with their pioneering dengue fever forecasting system. “D-MOSS” uses Earth Observation datasets to look at rainfall, temperature, humidity, soil moisture, land use, population density, combining these with seasonal climate forecasts to predict the likelihood of future dengue epidemics up to six months in advance.
With help from UKSA funding through the IPP, D-MOSS’s forecasts have helped Vietnamese public health authorities to save resources and reduce the number of dengue cases and the mortality rate.
Justin Tomlinson said: “This is fantastic news, and I am delighted the UKSA’s work is being recognised. The UKSA is a real source of pride for Swindon, it is brilliant to know that the town is home to an organisation making such a significant impact on the world.”