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About Us

Small island nations are on the frontline of the devastating impacts of climate change.  With nearly a third of the population living on land less than 5m above sea level, they are vulnerable to the threat of rising sea levels, degrading their coastlines, their communities, and their livelihoods. 

IPP CommonSensing is an ambitious project to use satellite remote sensing capabilities to support the Governments of Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu in their efforts to build resilience to the devastating impacts of climate change and improve access to climate finance. 


Indigenous Fijian girl walks in flooded land in Fiji.


Our goal 

Our ambition is that the new service will support the three nations to set new standards for requesting and reporting on climate funds, to strengthen their national and regional climate action policy and to reduce the impact and improved risk management of natural disasters. 

To achieve this the project will ensure that training is delivered to build capacity in-country to translate the data into actionable intelligence for policy-making and action on the ground. CommonSensing will embed specialists within the government structures to ensure national and local knowledge and systems are matched with the added capabilities from CommonSensing. 

How is IPP CommonSensing funded?

IPP Common Sensing is funded through a grant from the UK Space Agency’s International Partnership Programme (IPP) which supports cutting-edge research and innovation on global issues affecting developing countries. The grant funding is supplemented by contributions from the project partners and matched with in-kind contributions from the three participating nations. 

The project is led by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) through its Operational Satellite Applications programme (UNOSAT) working with the the Satellite Applications Catapult, the Commonwealth Secretariat, Devex International, the UK Met Office, Sensonomic, Spatial Days Ltd., and the University of Portsmouth. 


  • 26.2% of the land area of Small Island Developing Nations (SIDS) are less than 5m above sea level
  • 29.3% of the population live at less than 5m above sea level
  • 3.5% of the area is land
  • 96.5% of the area is ocean 
  • Average annual loss from disasters as a percentage of national Gross Domestic Product have most of the top countries as SIDS, wth the IPP CommonSensing target countries listed as number two (Vanuatu), ten (Solomon Islands), and eleven (Fiji).
  • As of May 2017, $30 billion has been pledged to global multicultural climate funds, $20 million has been deposited and $15 billion has been approved. According to the commitments from the 2015 Paris Agreement, this will increase up to $100 billion per year by 2020.