Earth Observation for Monitoring and Observing Environmental and Societal Impacts of Mineral Resources Exploration and Exploitation

  • Project no.3333
  • Duration 02/2010 - 01/2013

In recent years, the EU's resource consumption has remained at a constantly high level. The weight of imports and their environmental impacts have considerably increased, mainly due to ores, mineral fuels, metalware and products such as glass, ceramics and precious stones. Thus, a part of the environmental pressure resulting from the EU's material consumption has shifted from Europe to other regions.

EO-MINERS aims at integrating new and existing Earth Observation (EO) tools to monitor mining activities and to reduce negative environmental and societal impacts by:

  • introducing innovative remote sensing tools to the mining industry,
  • providing accuracy and quality measures for remote sensing products,
  • demonstrating the application of EO in different case studies,
  • fostering the "trialogue" between mining industry, public bodies and environmental organisations based on EO-derived information and
  • generalising the obtained results to be used in operational mining applications in the future.

To this end, three test areas in South Africa, the Czech Republik and Kyrgyzstan have been selected which will allow addressing these issues with special focus on reducing the environmental impacts of mining activities from exploration to remediation. The project is divided into five technical work packages:

  • WP1: Policy Analysis and Indicator Identification
  • WP2: Protocols and standards for EO products
  • WP3: EO application and development over demonstration sites
  • WP4 : EO integration and products
  • WP5 : Communication, dissemination, capacity building and exploitation

Wuppertal Institute will lead WP1. It will address the need to assess policy requirements and define criteria and indicators to be possibly dealt using EO methods and tools. The aim is to identify the information requirements from policy for the selection of appropriate EO techniques and the formulation of protocols and standards in subsequent work packages. Thus, WP1 will produce an analysis of policies related to the environmental and social footprint of mineral industries. Policies from three stakeholder categories will be under study: companies, public authorities and civil society. Based on the policy analysis, WP1 will derive specific information demands for the development of indicators. Furthermore, the Wuppertal Institute will also collaborate in WP5, which focuses on the dissemination, promotion and capacity building actions.

Further project information


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