Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space and the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement) sign an agreement to provide satellite imagery to protect forests in the Congo Basin


Paris, December 3, 2010 - France honours its commitment made last year in Copenhagen to provide high resolution satellite imagery to favour sustainable forest management in the Congo Basin countries. Through the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), France will finance the provision of SPOT satellite imagery to central African countries to help them prepare the future REDD mechanism. 


The contract between the AFD and the GEO-Information division of Airbus Defence and Space marks the beginning of a broad initiative to map the entire Congo Basin, the second largest forest in the world.  Financed by the AFD, this project is implemented by a consortium of institutional partners including the French Space Agency – Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the Institut Géographique National (IGN) and the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). 


This initiative will make SPOT images available to administrations, public institutions, and NGOs working on sustainable forest governance in the Congo Basin countries. SPOT archive imagery dating from 1990 will be used to establish baseline reference maps over the zone. Additional programming campaigns to acquire fresh datasets over the years will track the evolution of forest cover to monitor REDD+ future commitments.


Patrick Le Roch, Divisional Managing Director of Airbus Defence and Space GEO-Information declared, “SPOT satellite imagery is the ideal resolution for forest monitoring because it combines broad coverage and high two metre resolution.  We bring the most appropriate imagery products, expertise and technology to the REDD+ mechanism.  Our data acquisition tools bring essential added value for measuring and verifying forest cover changes necessary for REDD+ programs.”


For Dov Zerah, Managing Director of the Agence Française de Développement “Thanks to the provision of top level French technologies, our partners in the Congo Basin will be able to use the most significant tools as they reinforce sustainable forest management.  The AFD has been a pioneer in financing sustainable forest governance encouraged by central African countries and today is very much involved in the implementation of the REDD+ mechanism.”


The AFD and Airbus Defence and Space will participate in the CIFOR Forest Day on Sunday December 5th at the Cancun Center.


This initiative to provide satellite imagery for sustainable forest management in the Congo Basin will be announced at the Forest Day with a demonstration on the Central African Republic.


You are invited to a presentation on the Spot-Infoterra stand (n°9)

Present :


-       Mr Brice Lalonde, French Climate Ambassador

-       Ms Jacqueline Madozein et Mr Rubens Nambaï, Cabinet Directors for the Ministries of the Environment and Forests of the Central African Republic

-       Mr Denis Loyer, conseiller climat à l’AFD,

-       Mr Pierre Duquesne, PDG Spot Image Brésil, Airbus Defence and Space GEO-Information Services

-       Mr Didier Rigal, chargé de mission Environnement, Airbus Defence and Space GEO-Information Services



About Airbus Defence and Space

Airbus Defence and Space, a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRBUS Group, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2009, Airbus Defence and Space had a turnover of €4.8 billion and more than 15,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are Airbus Defence and Space for launchers and orbital infrastructure, Airbus Defence and Space for spacecraft and ground segment, and Airbus Defence and Space for comprehensive end-to-end value-added solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security satellite communications equipment, bespoke geo-information and navigation services worldwide.


AIRBUS Group is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, the Group – comprising Airbus, Airbus Defence and Space, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 42.8 billion and employed a workforce of more than 119,000.



Press contacts:

Daniel Mosely (Airbus Defence and Space UK)                                                     Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 8180

Matthieu Duvelleroy (Airbus Defence and Space FR)                                             Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 75 80 32

Ralph Heinrich (Airbus Defence and Space GER)                                                   Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971

Francisco Lechón (Airbus Defence and Space SP)                                                Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41


In Cancun : Jennifer Newlands, Spot Image/Airbus Defence and Space

Tel.: +33 (0)6 34 38 64 00