Monitoring illegal mining activities in Colombia

  • 4 November 2022
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Colombian Mining Monitoring (CoMiMo) aims to detect illegal mining using satellite data and machine learning. To do this, they created a geospatial tool to observe illicit mining activities in Colombia. CoMiMo uses Planet-NICFI base maps publicly available through the NICFI Program as Level 0 Users. The default imagery in the app is Planet NICFI Basemaps, and the predictions are generated with this imagery. 

The mining sites were detected based on the paper titled “The response of illegal mining to revealing its existence”. In this research, Santiago Saadevra aims to see the impacts of sharing location data of illegal activity with government officials in Colombia. The researcher created a novel dataset using machine learning predictions on satellite imagery. Then, benefiting from three different satellite sources, Saadevra processed thousands of images with and without mine in Google Earth Engine. One of the sources used is Planet Data, provided by NICFI Satellite Data Program. Afterwards, the researcher shared the predictions of possible mining sites with officials to analyze the effect on illegal mining.

The results demonstrated that new technologies can help capacity building and decrease illegal mining: 

“...Turning to impact on mining activity itself, I find a reduction in illegal mining in the exact disclosed locations, regardless of which level of government is informed. There is also a reduction of similar magnitude in surrounding areas of disclosed locations (areas less than 1km away). However, there is an increase in illegal mining in other areas of the municipality away from disclosed mines..” (Saavedra, 2022) 

To learn more about the research, please click here


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@idilgumus thanks for sharign this research!

 

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