How Copernicus is unveiling the impact of war on Ukrainian agriculture

Explore how Copernicus satellite data in assessing the impact of war on Ukrainian agriculture

Data from the Copernicus satellite, the EU’s Earth observation programme, supports the EUSpace4Ukraine initiative launched by EUSPA, the operational agency for the EU Space Programme. The initiative aims to connect the EU Space innovation community with users in Ukraine, who are facing the devastating effects of the war.

The Copernicus satellite provides data and information on the environment and its changes, such as land use and climate change. This data is helping understand and respond to the impacts of the war on Ukrainian infrastructure, food and energy supply chains, and the movement of refugees.

Copernicus Sentinel-2 and other Earth Observation data is being used to provide critical insights into agricultural parameters for Ukraine, aiding in damage assessment and supporting affected supply chains, and offering insights into vegetation cover, soil moisture, and more. These insights enable applications ranging from local needs assessment to national market estimates, contributing to long-term economic recovery.

According to a white paper published by EUSpace4Ukraine, Sentinel data was used to estimate cropland extent before and during the intensification of the war (2022). The total cropland area in 2022 compared to 2017-2021 mean across all crops decreased by ~7% (nearly 2 million ha), while the most affected crops (wheat / barley, sunflower and corn) experienced up to ~13% drop in cropland extent.

The analyses presented in the EUSpace4Ukraine initiative showcase the power of Copernicus data in assessing the impacts of war on agriculture. The use of Copernicus data in the EUSpace4Ukraine initiative is a testament to the power of space innovation in addressing humanitarian and environmental crises.

Source: European Union Agency for the Space Programme