Copernicus is a part of the European Space Program. The Copernicus data is open and free for use consisting of 6 Earth observation data services, namely climate change, maritime monitoring, atmospheric layer monitoring, monitoring of land, security, and emergency condition mitigation. These services can be provided as the system is supported by 6 series of Sentinel satellites orbiting the Earth. This is what Astrid-Christina Koch, a senior expert from the European Union’s Directorate General of Defence and Space Industries (DG DEFIS) explained in a virtual Joint Workshop on Copernicus, Wednesday (16/03).

In the panel discussion session, Rahmat Arief, Acting Head of Remote Sensing Research Center – BRIN explained that the Copernicus data has been applied to various applications by government and academic institutions. “The results of research from Copernicus data form the basis for central and regional governments in determining their policies, including monitoring the area of ​​rice fields by the Ministry of Agriculture, monitoring  forest area by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK), law enforcement in cases of tanker oil spills by the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (KKP), and flood disaster mitigation and coastal protection on the north coast of Java Island in the project of the Ministry of Public Works and Public Housing (KemenPUPR) jointly the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB),” he explained.

Rory Donnelly, a Remote Sensing Expert, EU-Indonesia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) Facility, explained that in the future the potential use of Earth observation data services in Indonesia will expand. For this reason, it is necessary for Indonesia to exploit more of Copernicus technology in Indonesia, enhance the expertise of local workers and infrastructure in using Copernicus services, as well as awareness of Copernicus technology in various government agencies. “Together, we can review what an institution is doing, identify the use of remote sensing data, then we can compare the existing and potential services at Copernicus in accordance with the agency’s priorities,” he said.

Meanwhile, Andreas Becker, Team Leader of the EU Global Action on Space, said that currently there are 5 types of services the European Union’s space program provides for space stakeholders in Indonesia. The 5 services are strategic market reports, space diplomacy, business opportunities, setup & maintenance of the European Union space platform, and communication campaigns.

Agriculture, Forestry and Maritime Sector

Rizatus Shofiyati from the Ministry of Agriculture mentioned several challenges that will be faced in developing agriculture in the future. They are among other things, the sustainability of satellite image data which still relies on other countries, the model and accuracy of analysis on remote sensing data in agriculture, which is still doubted, and high cost of investment. Furthermore, he said, we have to develop remote sensing data-based innovation technology by which we can find out the condition of agricultural land, irrigation management using satellite imagery, early warning for food systems, and identify the potential of swamp land as food supplier.

Belinda Arunarwati Margono from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry said that remote sensing is one of aids or tools which provides good information but it also has limitations. These limitations include data continuity as it must follow the satellite orbital period, problems of area coverage, techniques and methods for data collection which depends on the price of the software, differences in the comparison of image results, and high operating costs for high resolution data.

“Some of the challenges faced in the field of forest and environmental monitoring are the need for remote sensing data that can detect differences in the health condition of vegetation and types of species,” he asserted.

Niken Gusmawati from KKP explained the benefits of remote sensing data in the maritime field. “Remote sensing plays a very important role in the management of marine and fisheries resources to support the Blue Economy,” she added. “This will provide an opportunity for Indonesia to reap economic benefits and help the country, which has large territorial waters, to use marine resources sustainably for economic growth, improve livelihoods, and maintain the health of its marine ecosystems,” she added.

Disaster Management, Climate, Atmosphere, and Ecosystems

Natural disasters are recurring events. For this reason, Udrech, Director of Disaster Risk Mapping and Evaluation of BNPB said historical data is very important to observe spatial/land use changes from time to time. “Natural disasters can be caused by environmental changes. The “one data and one map” policy facilitates the availability of data not only for disaster mitigation and management but also for other activities,” she explained.

Edvin Aldrian added that the majority of natural disasters that occur in Indonesia are floods and droughts, followed by forest and land fires, landslides, and air pollution. “By using multiple satellite and radar data, we can analyse and present various information, such as the Satellite Disaster Early Warning System (SADEWA) which uses data from the Himawari-8 satellite to provide information of disaster mitigation,” said the researcher from BRIN’s Earth and Maritime Research Organization.

For information, apart from SADEWA, ​​the role of satellite and radar data is also presented in other BRIN R&D information systems, namely the Maritime Information System (SEMAR), the Indonesian Atmospheric Composition Information System (SRIKANDI), the Climate Change Information System (SRIRAMA), and most recently Mid-Term Indonesian Beginning of Season Studies (KAMAJAYA). Edvin hopes that Indonesia will also focus on developing its own national satellite which is an important part in providing remote sensing data.

Ella Meilianda from the Tsunami and Disaster Mitigation Research Center of Syiah Kuala University complemented the above explanation saying that remote sensing data is essential in investigating assessment on risk of flood in river basin area. “The data provides parameterization of flood hazard assessments such as analysis of hydrological data, historical rainfall data, land use data, soil types, river flows,” he explained.

He further revealed that satellite data helps to find potential risks in a timely manner. Through monitoring using multispatio-temporal satellite data, the decision-making processes and strategies to reduce flood risk are improved. (ra/ ed: drs)