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ESA to use EO systems for sustainable development

The World Bank and ESA signed an agreement on using information from Earth observation satellites in support of sustainable development. The agreement was signed at COP21 Climate Summit in Paris.

The World Bank is one of the world’s largest sources of development assistance. It provides financial support to projects especially in low and middle-income countries through loans and grants.

ESA’s partnership with the World Bank is anchored within the Bank’s Sustainable Development Cluster, which is the largest network of Global Practices in the World Bank. The collaboration started in 2008, with over 35 projects already carried out.

The MOI signed on December 3 takes these initial experiences and expands the partnership to explore on a larger scale how satellite information can be integrated and mainstreamed into the projects and research of the World Bank. This expanded collaboration will focus on ten areas: water, agriculture, urban growth, oceans, disaster risk management, energy and extractives, forests, fragile states, and climate, according to the World Bank.

“Earth observation is key to the sustainable development goals,” emphasised Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President for Sustainable Development, at the signing of the Memorandum of Intent in Paris.

By using Earth observation, organisations in developing countries will increase their technical capacities and will be able to collect a wide range of information from satellites. This will also strengthen their development plans and initiatives.

“This collaboration with the World Bank opens a new user community for the geospatial information our satellites are delivering from space,” says ESA’s Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Volker Liebig.

“It will also support the development of investment projects to boost prosperity and inclusive growth. This is an excellent initiative for ESA and the World Bank, but especially for ensuring sustainable growth in the future.”

This strategic partnership will lead to new opportunities throughout the development sector while using the satellite capabilities developed for better management of our planet’s resources.