These are amazing photographs of some of the last untouched places on Earth – taken from space. These ‘sanctuaries’ have been observed by NASA satellites and now feature in a new book – “Sanctuary: Exploring the World’s Protected Areas from Space” – which raises awareness on protecting our planet’s nature.
In the book’s foreword
“NASA has used this view from space to make incredible scientific advances in our understanding of how our planet works. As a result, we can now better gauge the impact of human activity on our environment.” -Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator
By the numbers
protected areas worldwide, covering 14 percent of the planet’s land and 11 percent of coastal areas, as well as 3.6 percent of the world’s oceans. Protected areas featured in “Sanctuary” include Hawaii’s Papaphanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, New Zealand’s Mount Egmont National Park, the weaving waterways of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Photos used to protect animals
One type of conservation effort highlighted in the book – published by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (Arlington, Virginia) – is the trend of connecting areas to protect migrating species such as the pronghorn, a deer-like animal that migrates the longest distance of any terrestrial animal in the U.S.: more than 350 miles (563 km). MWN
Earth images key to environment study
Space-based Earth observations are also used as inputs into advanced computer models to help identify and predict environmental changes. With this information the conservation community can develop new adaptation strategies and prepare for impacts such as disrupted migrations or increased crises like wildfires, floods, and drought. MWN
“As much as this book is intended showcase space-based satellite imagery and its role in conservation, we also wanted to tell the down-to-Earth stories of what’s happening in these areas.”
Nancy Colleton, president of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies