Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 30th October 2008.

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Photo of Colin Challen Colin Challen Labour, Morley and Rothwell

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what use his Department makes of data obtained from earth observation satellites; and what payment is made for such data, where applicable.

Photo of Huw Irranca-Davies Huw Irranca-Davies Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Marine and Natural Environment)

DEFRA and its delivery bodies use high resolution satellite data for the verification of agricultural subsidy claims under the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS). The data used are supplied directly by the European Commission so there is no cost to the Department.

DEFRA also uses satellite data as part of the UK Countryside Survey in order to produce a national Land Cover Map. The Land Cover Map is a partnership project between DEFRA, the Natural Environment Research Council and the devolved Administrations. Some of the satellite data for the Land Cover Map are provided free of charge by the European Commission. DEFRA and partners have agreed a budget of £110,000 for the purchase of additional data.

Satellite derived data are also used on an ad-hoc basis in various research projects funded by DEFRA. DEFRA does not hold data centrally on the costs of the satellite data used within these research projects.

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