Environmental crime falls fourth place in the list of the larges crimes in the world. This kind of crime involves activities that contribute harm to the environment. Activities are considered environmental crimes if they reduce life expectancy, pollute the environment, contaminate the food chain, damage the ecosystem degrade wildlife, and increase the risk of infections and diseases. The work of companies like Nanoavionics is to develop satellites and space services that help detect and tackle such crimes. They do this by collaborating with law enforcers to prevent environmental crimes like illegal trades. They also help industries to prove they are complying with environmental regulations. Before we look at how space technologies are helping to fight, let’s take a brief look at environmental crimes.
Types of Environmental Crimes
Crimes to the environment are categorized based on their relevance. Generally, there are three sub-calls in environmental crimes:
- Poaching and Animal Trafficking
Poaching remains a huge problem in many parts of the world. One thing you should know is that poaching and trafficking of plants and animals are not based on a single individual. There is a long supply chain of the people involved in these activities. So satellite technologies help to detect and prevent poaching and trafficking.
- Environmental Quality
This type of crime consists of activities that degrade the quality of the environment. Such include air pollution, water pollution, and land pollution.
- Natural Resources
When people wrongly use natural resources, such activities are considered environmental crimes. These activities include illegal or unregulated fishing and illegal charcoal trafficking and logging.
Space technologies are doing a great job at observing these activities, reporting them, and helping to stop them. Such like satellite communication and observation are helping to fight environmental crimes in different ways. Consider the following:
- Earth Observation
EO accompanied by other sources help to detect and control activities on land and sea. For instance, it helps monitor operations in oil exploration in the sea and remote places like the Arctic. The data from observation also helps to monitor water and air quality and changes in the environment such as dumping, new activities in closed mines, deforestation, and more. The satellites can also provide aerial images of roads and tracks suspected to conduct illegal trades and smuggling items.
- Satellite Communication
Satcom integrates aircraft, ground vehicles maritime vessels, and helicopters in border patrol by providing data, voice, and video communications. This allows all these to work as a single unit. If terrestrial networks are unavailable, satellites provide stable connections in such remote areas allowing proper communication. In such a case, satellite communication is vital in mining sites, ships, wilderness, and oil mines.
- Navigation Satellite Systems
When it comes to navigation satellite systems, it becomes possible to track vessels’ identity, speed, and course. The satellites work with ground stations to track ships’ movements and detect if suspicious activities are happening.
Environmental crimes are the leading causes of environmental degradation. With the aim to stop such crimes, law enforcers are collaborating with space technologies to detect, monitor, and control these crimes. This need has led to an increased need to develop space-enabled services and applications.