Using space to foster development assistance for disaster resilience

Tue, 23 Nov 2021 03:00:00 GMT
ESA Observing the Earth

ESA’s Global Development Assistance Programme, brought to life by ESA Member States at Space19+, has...

ESA's Global Development Assistance Programme, brought to life by ESA Member States at Space19+, has officially kicked off its first action focused on agile Earth observation information development in the thematic sector of 'Disaster Resilience'.

This marks the first milestone in a programme that aims to foster impact through the systematic integration of Earth observation data in development projects.

"Earth observation information helps us to understand the level of exposure to risk we have in a region, as well as assess what happens after a disaster," stated Anna Wellenstein, World Bank Regional Director for Sustainable Development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In the Disaster Resilience domain, the Global Development Assistance programme's main focus is on hazard, exposure and vulnerability mapping in order to better meet International Financial Institutions' and development stakeholders' information requirements.

To achieve this, ESA engages a consortium of nine European specialised Earth observation providers to partner with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, aiming to strengthen developing countries' disaster resilience.

These include providers from Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and the UK. This is done by focusing on "Knowledge development through the generation of new pre-operational technical products and services in direct response to requirements identified by the Development Banks, the Banks' clients and stakeholders in developing countries," explains Christoph Aubrecht, Global Development Assistance Programme Coordinator at ESA. Specifically, developments are planned to enhance Earth observation products concerning both hydrometeorological hazards, geohazards and related risks.

Another example of an Earth observation product being developed through the Global Development Assistance programme concerns floods, which according to the World Health Organization, affected more than two billion people worldwide between 1998 and 2017.

These activities are part of the new, joint Space for International Development Assistance Initiative set up by ESA in partnership with International Financial Institutions - namely the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

"The Asian Development Bank is increasingly applying Earth observation data and products in the design and implementation of projects across the region. We hope enhanced cooperation with agencies such as ESA and Earth observation service providers will lead to strengthened capacity among our developing member countries to better exploit the potential of geoinformation for sustainable development," commented Nessim Ahmad, previously Deputy Director General of the Asian Development Bank's Regional and Sustainable Development Department.

"The European Space Agency is critical for the success of our projects on the ground" added Asian Development Bank Managing Director General Woochong Um. Thank you for liking.

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