Satellite Environmental Information and Development Aid: An Analysis of Longer- Term Prospects

Caribou Space

Caribou Space has written this report as an analysis of the longer-term prospects for expanding the use of satellite-based environmental information in Development Aid operations and activities.

The report has been commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA), which is an intergovernmental organisation of 22-member states with a mission to ‘shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world’ (see www.esa.int). The intended audience is; the European National Development Aid Agencies, International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and National Space Agencies. The report consists of the following: 

• An Executive Summary of the key points 

• Background information to set the context, summarise the current status of ESA’s and other space agencies initiatives in promoting the use of satellite environmental information for Sustainable Development

• An actual example of a similar high-technology sector being fully integrated into Development Aid operations & financing; a case study on mobile telecommunications

• A brief summary of the current changes taking place in both Sustainable Development and satellite environmental information

• A description of the benefits of satellite environmental information for Development Aid

• The longer-term strategic vision, including the barriers to be addressed in achieving this vision and a description of the primary activities to be carried out

• Initial options on how these activities might be financed and an identification of some issues related to their implementation. In addition, the report contains supplementary information in several Annexes in support of the main arguments, as follows: • An Annex of the export market opportunity in developing countries for the European EO information services sector

• An Annex of the benefits of satellite environmental information specifically for Environmental Safeguard Systems (ESS)

• An Annex of other ESA initiatives in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the implementation of some Global Environmental Conventions. 

Whilst there are benefits arising from other aspects of space capabilities to the field of Development Aid (e.g. satellite communications (SatComms), global navigation satellite system (GNSS), space weather/ meteorology), this report does not analyse these aspects. It focuses entirely on the capabilities offered by satellites in delivering a wide range of information for the monitoring of the Earth’s environment in the context of Sustainable Development.

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