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ESA and World Bank expand collaboration of EO for international development projects

The European Space Agency (ESA) and the World Bank have been collaborating under the umbrella of the “Earth Observation for Development” initiative – branded eoworld – since 2008. In 2013 ESA and the World Bank have entered into a new phase of collaboration for a further 3 years to place greater emphasis on mainstreaming EO information into World Bank operational activities.

In this context, a second internal ‘Call for Projects’ was opened within the World Bank between July 8 and September 9. The purpose of this Call is to identify on-going international development projects of the World Bank, where there are current key requirements for additional geo-information needed for the planning, implementation or monitoring of the project activity. The Call has prioritized 4 thematic sectors identified as: urban development, disaster risk management, forestry and oceans. However, the submissions on other thematic areas were also welcomed including operations in fragile and conflict-affected states, ecosystems services, extractive industries, renewable energy, and insurance and reinsurance sector, as well as capacity building in water resources management.

A total of 38 responses were submitted by Bank project teams across all 6 geographic regions of operations, in the following broad sectors / themes of development activity :

  • forestry, agriculture and rural development (11),
  • water (8),
  • urban (5),
  • transport (2),
  • oceans including coastal (4),
  • disaster risk management (4),
  • health (2),
  • ICT development (1),
  • climate change (1).

Regarding the types of geo-information requested, these are spanning a broad range:

  • Land/Environment (6),
  • Land/Forest (7),
  • Land/Mapping (7),
  • Land/Risks (6),
  • Land/Water-Snow (6),
  • Ocean (3),
  • Atmospheric/Air Quality (1),
  • Climate change Info Services (1),
  • Several (1).
    Note that Land/Risks includes the topic coastal zone management (coastal erosion).

ESA is currently assessing the responses on specific criteria: the scope of the geo-information requirements specified, the feasibility of EO to satisfy them and the overall relevance of EO for the design and implementation of the Bank project and the linkage to the programs and initiatives. Once complete, ESA and World Bank will jointly select 12-15 Bank projects that can be supported by EO-based information. The geo-information requirements of the selected Bank projects will form input to the ITT that ESA will release for the European and Canadian EO service suppliers to respond to in November / December of 2013 .

The World Bank has been promoting the collaboration with ESA; with article that has been on the home page in august and can be seen at the following link