Coimbra, Portugal, May 28, 2019 (Lusa) – CybELE, a Portuguese company based in the European Space Agency incubation centre is developing technology that uses satellite images to identify environmental crimes, it said on Tuesday.

The project began with the concern of Robin Bouvier from France who, after years of working as a legal adviser to an environmental organisation realised that most environmental protection laws were not enforced and he decided to do something to improve the application of the laws, he told Lusa.

“The images are processed according to the client’s needs and can create a visual idea of the kind of environmental damage and the impact. For instance, we can generate a mask to highlight deforestation or illegal logging in a region or to identify the chemical compounds in an oil spill or other kinds of ground pollution”, he said.

Robin Bouvier told Lusa that the CybELE technology saves time and money to investigate the evidence and to identify and calculate the cost of the environmental damage.

Apart from being useful to law firms and insurance companies, he hopes that the technology can also assist NGOs, governments or international associations that operate in this area.

“The technology lets you monitor a huge area remotely, but much more can be done to improve the accuracy of the satellite images and with the new generation of satellites our analysis will improve”, he added