Introducing IPP CommonSensing
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.
By developing satellite-based information services that directly match challenges and needs, IPP CommonSensing will support the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Fiji in their goals to strengthen their capacity to access climate finance and report on climate funds; strengthen national and regional climate action policy; and reduce the impact and improved risk management of natural disasters and food security.
To achieve this, the project will also build capacity for using information services in-country and strengthen technical skills across the regional by placing specialists within government ministries to ensure local knowledge and existing data systems benefit from the added capabilities that IPP CommonSensing will bring.
At present, we are focusing on the definition, design, and development of the tools that will address the defined challenges of this project, with the aim of demonstrating how the project's web-based application will work to the Fijian government in April 2020. We will then begin to work on the system to support Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands over the summer in 2020.
The project has been funded through a £9.6million 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 is supplemented by contributions from the project partners and matched with in-kind contributions from the three participating nations.
About the UK Space Agency's International Partnership Programme (IPP)
The UK Space Agency's International Partnership Programme (IPP) is a five-year, £152million programme designed to partner UK space expertise with overseas governments and organisations. It is funded from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy's Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF).
About the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)
The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5billion fund which forms part of the UK Government's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and is overseen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and delivered through 17 delivery partners including the Research Councils, the UK Academies, the UK Space Agency and funding bodies. It harnesses the expertise of the UK's world-leading researchers, focusing on: funding challenge-led disciplinary on interdisciplinary research; strengthening capability for research, innovation and knowledge exchange; and providing an agile response to emergencies where there is an urgent research or on-the-ground need.