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'Sanctuary' Makes Advances in Protecting Ecologies Light Reading

Nov 14, 2014 02:29 PM EST

Protected areas and the conservation of ecology has been the hot topic at this year's World Parks Congress in Sydney, Australia. Now NASA and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) has announced the publication of Sanctuary, a short book of stunning pictures that can help us understand how satellites and aerial surveillance are keeping our most valuable ecosystems safe.

The book, which debuted at the conference, is already free to download in PDF form here, and would certainly make for a fantastic coffee table read.

Utilizing satellite imagery and nature photography, Sanctuary shows the public beauty in the same images that helped make protection of these pristine natural habitats possible.

"NASA and numerous other space agency partners from around the globe have used this view from space to make incredible scientific advances in our understanding of how our planet works," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden says in the book's forward. "As a result, we can now better gauge the impact of human activity on our environment and measure how and why our atmosphere, oceans, and land are changing." (Scroll to read on...)

(Photo : Institute for Global Environmental Strategies)

The former astronaut expressed great pleasure in seeing the most significant of these breathtaking images be made available to the public in one place. It also is intended to help people understand just how imagery like this is helping bridge the management of these protected areas, leading to more effective conservation of migratory species that may interact with numerous world parks as they travel the globe.

"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," author Nancy Colleton, president of the IGES, added in a statement.

The unveiling of this new book follows another announcement by the United Nations Environment Programme that despite difficulties keeping some protections enforced, the world's governments are well on track to reaching a target of having 17 percent of the Earth's landmass and 10 percent of our open oceans protected by 2020.

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