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USE OF SATELLITE IMAGERY TO ANALYZE AND MONITOR EXTRACTIVE ACTIVITIES IN AF...

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United States Institute of Peace

2301 Constitution Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20037

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Afghanistan is well endowed with a wide range of minerals. However, the Afghan government’s efforts to oversee and regulate the mineral sector, both centrally and across the country, are hindered by widespread insecurity and capacity constraints. As the U.S. Institute of Peace previously reported,[1] many hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of minerals are being extracted in Afghanistan annually, but little mining revenue reaches the state through taxes, royalties or other formal payments. Of great significance is that most of Afghanistan’s mining activity is taking place in plain view from space, both at the mining locations but also along transport routes to local and national bazaars and across the Afghan border.

The U.S. Institute of Peace has commissioned a report that explores the contribution satellite imagery can make to the generation of reliable observations of ongoing mining, transport and export of different mineral types in Afghanistan. This report, currently being circulated as a discussion draft to stimulate discussion and debate, demonstrates the very significant contribution satellite imagery can make to analysing and monitoring extractive activities in Afghanistan. Copies of the report will be sent to confirmed participants in advance of the October 17 event.

Two of the report’s authors, Richard Brittan (Alcis) and Bill Byrd (U.S. Institute of Peace) will present an overview of mining in Afghanistan and the potential for satellite imagery to monitor mineral extraction, transport, and export. They will cover the methodological approach behind the report and the analysis derived from research sites covering a number of coal, marble, chromite and salt mining locations across Afghanistan. They will also present the resulting findings and recommendations on how to move towards more extensive and systematic use of satellite imagery for analysis and monitoring of Afghanistan’s extractives sector.

Scott Worden, the director of the Afghanistan program at USIP, will moderate the discussion, and please contact Matthew Parkes at msparkes@usip.org if you have any questions about this event.

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United States Institute of Peace

2301 Constitution Avenue Northwest

Washington, DC 20037

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