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UK Space Agency will use satellites to monitor climate swings in Vanuatu

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The UK Space Agency said it would invest 38 million pounds ($52.79 million) to help people cope with climate disasters by using satellites to monitor unpredictable weather patterns. Among patterns UK Space Agency intents to monitor – severe climate swings in Vanuatu and Fiji.

“The UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme will help developing countries tackle big issues like disaster relief and disease control,” Britain’s science minister Sam Gyimah said in a statement.

Besides the Pacific, UK Space Agency is to monitor weather patterns in Rwanda, deforestation in Colombia, and the risk of forest fire in Indonesia.

In countries like Colombia, forests are under threat from farmers seeking grazing land and criminal gangs cutting down trees for illegal gold mining. When forests are degraded or destroyed, the carbon stored in the trees is released into the atmosphere, with deforestation accounting for 10 to 15 percent of carbon emissions worldwide.

In Mongolia, where about 30 percent of the population depend on livestock herding, severe winters known as ‘dzuds’ are killing off animals and devastating the economy. Camels, goats, horses and cows have been dying in record numbers.

The UK Space Agency’s 10 projects, which will partner with global satellite companies like Inmarsat and CGI, join more than 20 existing initiatives that use satellite communication to tackle humanitarian issues that occur during cyclones and other natural disasters.