World news story

UK Space Agency to partner with Peru on satellite research to reduce disaster vulnerabilities

Using Earth Observation and Global Navigation Satellite System technologies, the British Government will help Peru tackle disaster relief and disease control.

Using Earth Observation and Global Navigation Satellite System technologies, the British Government will help Peru tackle disaster relief and disease control.
Using Earth Observation and Global Navigation Satellite System technologies, the British Government will help Peru tackle disaster relief and disease control.

The British Government has announced that it will help Peru and other developing countries tackle disaster relief and disease control using UK space expertise and cutting-edge technology.

UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme will be using remote sensing data to minimising the risk of tailings dams failures in Peru, a project worth £2.7 million.

Tailing dams are earth embankments used to store toxic mine waste and effluent which can be more than 100m high. Their rate of failure is high, due to poor design regulations and less rigorous construction methods than for normal water-retaining dams.

This project will use Earth Observation and Global Navigation Satellite System technologies to allow for more effective monitoring of the dams, allowing for quicker action to be taken to avoid the tailings dams failures.

The project will help to reduce damage to ecosystem services downstream of mines upon which many vulnerable communities rely for both their source of water and their livelihoods. It will be implemented by HR Wallingford (UK) in partnership with the National Water Authority of Peru, the Regional Government of Cajamarca, Ciemam SAC, Peru’s National Foundation for Hydraulics, Peru’s National Institution of Engineers, the National University of Cajamarca, Rio Tinto, Klohn Crippen Berger, and Engineering Geology.

The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme uses UK space expertise to deliver innovative solutions to real world problems across the globe. This helps some of the world’s developing countries, while building effective partnerships that can lead to new opportunities for British companies.

British Ambassador to Peru, Anwar Choudhury, said:

This is a truly modern project built around our vision of a 21st Century partnership with Peru which highlights once again the UK’s leadership in technology and innovation.

This project is in addition to two other current UK Space Agency projects in Peru worth £3.2 million: EO4cultivar (sustainable agricultural production and irrigation) led by Environment Systems, and Land-use interventions led by Vivid Economics.

The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme is part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF): a £1.5 billion fund from the UK Government, which supports cutting-edge research and innovation on global issues affecting developing countries.

Published 16 February 2018