Government of Canada partners with University of Victoria on remote sensing research

December 14, 2007

This release is also available in French.

VICTORIA -- The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a memorandum of understanding providing for contribution agreements of up to $2.25 million with the University of Victoria for advanced remote sensing research. A key goal of the agreement is to find innovative solutions to address resource management and development needs in British Columbia.

"Today we embark on a multi-year collaboration with the University of Victoria to use remote sensing in our continuing efforts to address the challenges facing B.C.'s resource-based communities," said Minister Lunn. "This research will enhance our capacity in natural resources planning and management and in resource use, especially in areas suffering from the mountain pine beetle epidemic."

"We have an outstanding group of people working on remote sensing technologies and their applications," said Jamie Cassels, the University of Victoria's Vice-President Academic and Provost. "We welcome this opportunity to bring that expertise to bear on addressing British Columbia's natural resource challenges and opportunities."

The University of Victoria uses an advanced form of remote sensing known as hyperspectral imaging, which provides more detailed imagery than conventional remote sensing systems. Using this and other geomatics tools such as laser technology and spatial modelling, researchers are investigating a range of issues related to the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

This research will be used by decision and policy makers, natural resource communities, and forestry, mining and energy industries as they work to diversify and strengthen the local economies of resource-based communities in B.C.

The Government of Canada has invested $200 million in communities and forestry resources impacted by the mountain pine beetle epidemic. Today's announcement is an important step towards long-term improvements in the economic future of communities affected by the beetle, and will contribute to post-beetle economic diversification and community rehabilitation.

Canada's Government continues to support Canadian researchers and innovators in developing new ideas and bringing them to the marketplace through Canada's Science and Technology Strategy.
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FOR BROADCAST USE:

Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn has announced up to $2.25 million in funding for research using advanced remote sensing technology at the University of Victoria. The goal is to find innovative solutions to natural resource management and development needs in British Columbia resulting from the mountain pine beetle infestation.

Media may contact:

Louise Girouard
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Ottawa
613-996-2007

The general public may contact:

Mon-Fri, 8:30-4:30 EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)
E-mail: questions@nrcan.gc.ca

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Natural Resources Canada

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