Planet Labs PBC, a provider of Earth observation data and insights, has announced the extension of its partnership with AXA Climate, a Paris-based company that provides consulting services to help businesses and public entities adapt to climate change and biodiversity loss. The collaboration is aiming to develop parametric insurance products to protect farmers against the effects of drought on their livelihoods.
AXA Climate offers drought insurance services that estimate crop yield and losses and automatically trigger payouts within a few days of the end of a risk period. By using Planet Lab’s satellite data, AXA Climate is able to provide reliable, up-to-date soil moisture data across the world and even for remote regions. The partnership has enabled AXA Climate to offer high-quality index insurance coverage services for farmers and cooperatives, helping them combat threats of drought to agriculture worldwide.
Planet owns and operates the largest fleet of Earth observation satellites in history, with approximately 200 satellites currently in orbit. The company collects an image of every land-based location on Earth on a near-daily basis, generating an unprecedented dataset. These insights are combined with additional public satellite data offerings to deliver continuous, scientifically rigorous data that measures and quantifies the changing conditions of the surface of the Earth, including soil moisture.
Using Planet’s Planetary Variables Soil Water Content data feed, AXA Climate receives a measurement of the volume of water contained in the soil at a high resolution in their areas of interest to a depth of about 5 centimeters. This critical information helps the insurance company determine the risk for drought-related losses, such as crop yields. AXA Climate calculates a soil moisture index from this data, which serves as a reliable indicator of the amount of water available for crops. This index is closely associated with yield variability, making it an essential factor to consider in agriculture.
“These Planetary Variables provide accurate, daily, global measurements. AXA Climate is using our Soil Water Content variable to monitor, and then provide automatic payments if the soil moisture gets below a certain percent for more than a number of days. This offers a powerful service that can support global farmers in critical situations,” said Will Marshall, CEO of Planet.
In addition to supporting farmers, the insights generated from Planet’s satellite data have also proved valuable in developing new approaches to mitigate the effects of climate change beyond agriculture, such as monitoring natural disaster impact risk.
Image provided by Planet Labs