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CybELE engagement to fight against environmental crime recognized during the 2018 Copernicus Masters competition

CybELE, short for Cyber Environmental Law Enforcement, was announced as the overall winner on the 4th December 2018 night at the Copernicus Masters Awards Ceremony in Marseille, France.

The competition awards outstanding ideas and applications using Earth observation data to tackle environmental challenges faced by society.

CybELE has been honoured twice within this year’s Copernicus Masters B2B and Overall Winner Awards. CybELE solution aims to use satellite data to empower experts, especially in the private sector (law firms and insurance), with the management of their legal environmental cases.

Indeed, environmental crime, such as illegal landfill and forestry crimes, is a growing problem worldwide and an expensive one as well. At a global scale, environmental crime increases by an average of 5-7 % annually. Following an increase of 26% in 2014, it is estimated that in 2016 alone, environmental crimes incurred a global cost of between $91 billion and $258 billion.

To solve this problem, CybELE provides quick access to environmental crime reports for law firms and insurance companies. Saving time and money usually spent on research, the reports constitute crucial evidence of infringement of environmental laws and assess the cost of environmental damage.

The reports are based on an analysis of satellite data notably from Sentinels-1, -2, -3 and -5. They are drafted in a comprehensive manner to constitute a crucial evidential basis in the frame of judicial proceedings like litigation or dispute settlement.

The service finally enables companies or their clients to alleviate time and money consuming research required to support their cases. The reports are also improving the legal predictability of environmental cases and strengthen the client’s environmental claims.
ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Josef Aschbacher, said, “Copernicus is Europe’s route to the future and it is the most ambitious Earth observation programme ever conceived.

“CybELE demonstrates its potential by using data from all active Copernicus Sentinels to optimise the management of legal environmental cases.”

“With applications like this, it is clear that the Copernicus Masters drive innovative use of Earth observation data and make the Copernicus programme accessible to new user groups.”