Natural systems are degraded globally by human activities. Tropical coastlines, peatlands and other wetlands especially are hotspots of rapid decline through logging and drainage, while also suffering from sea-level rise and soil subsidence. Improved understanding of such vulnerable systems is required to define management requirements to deal with future threats, but is often limited by data availability for practitioners. Data providers are often either consultants focused on profit maximization or scientists focused on research maximization. Data for Sustainability as an independent research consultancy aims to maximize benefits for sustainable wetland management and conservation by providing innovative data and analyses while minimizing cost and time requirements where possible.

Activities and products

Remote sensing data: We collect, analyze and apply a range of publicly available satellite datasets, as well as airborne LiDAR data on a project basis, to create innovative products. Products to date include global and regional datasets of elevation, peat thickness / carbon, water depth and flood risk that we place in the public domain when possible, and refined local datasets tailored to suit requirements on a paid project basis. Our focus area is SE Asia that has the most extensive and degraded coastal lowlands, but we can apply our methods anywhere.

Peatland restoration project support: We work with projects that aim to conserve or restore degraded peatland forest systems in SE Asia, by applying our data to quantify hydrological impacts, carbon stocks and carbon losses for specific areas. We also help identify and design restoration solutions.