Scientific Collaborator, HEC-UNIL
Natural resources often come for free to the companies that use them. Natural resources have a large economic value. For example, pollination enables between US$235 and US$577 billions of the global agricultural output and the total value of forests is estimated to be around US$4.7 trillion per year. However, most often companies are allowed free use of vegetation and other natural resources in their production processes. This is a problem, as we are currently consuming natural resources 1.75 times faster than the planet can regenerate, which endangers the ecological foundations of society.
This research provides a centralized, satellite-based methodology to estimate the cost of vegetation loss for the mining sector. It shows that by using satellite images that are publicly available, it is possible to assess the impact of companies on natural resources and estimate the related cost. As a case study, this research considers the Antamina mining site in Peru and the associated loss of vegetation, with three main steps: