ESA has been presented the ‘Space for Climate Protection’ Special Award by the International Astronautical Federation during the Global Space Conference on Climate Change – currently taking place in Oslo, Norway.
The award reflects the importance of climate protection and highlights the efforts of the space community to contribute data and ideas – as we all cooperate to address global climate change.
The ESA-JAXA-NASA Earth Observing Dashboard was chosen as the most valid example of the ways in which remote sensing data can support climate protection and allow decision-makers, citizens and the scientific community to easily access information that may be fundamental to protect our planet.
ESA Director General, Josef Aschbacher, commented, “I’d like to thank the International Astronautical Federation for this award as well as our partners NASA and JAXA. What began as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic has developed into a platform that showcases the power of Earth observation for humankind.”
Simonetta Cheli, Director of Earth Observation Programmes at ESA, added, “The dashboard is an excellent example of international co-operation that helps science-driven decision-making. Thanks to its interoperability, the data can be used every day to benefit society at large and advance our knowledge of our home planet.”
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, ESA, NASA and JAXA created the open-source platform using a wealth of Earth-observing data from the three agencies to document the worldwide changes happening to our society and the environment.
Since then, the dashboard was expanded to contain new focus areas to strengthen our global understanding of the changing environment with human activity.
Utilising accurate remote sensing observations, the dashboard shows the changes occurring in Earth’s air, land, and water and their effects on human activities. Users can explore countries and regions around the world to see how the indicators in specific locations change over time, and deep dive into data-driven stories and explore datasets.
The interactive stories of each theme provide an easy-to-use resource for decision-makers and those not familiar with Earth observation data, with advanced data exploration options available for scientists.
Anca Anghelea, Open Science Platform Engineer at ESA, added, “The technology-enabled Open Science efforts aim to make our data jointly more accessible and useable, to accelerate the pace of discovery and open doors for global participation.”
Clay Mowry, President of the International Astronautical Federation, commented during the Opening Ceremony, “We trust that this award will cast a powerful light on the role that space can have on climate protection, and we hope that this public recognition will support ESA, JAXA and NASA in their efforts to provide information to the public and will foster the development of similar initiatives.
“We would like to thank the European Space Agency once again for its efforts and for the precious instruments it provides to societies across the globe.”
About the Global Space Conference on Climate Change
The first conference of its kind, the Global Space Conference on Climate Change (GLOC), taking place in Oslo, Norway, will contribute to the global efforts to better understand and battle climate change using space-based services and applications.
Organised by the International Astronautical Federation and its member the Norwegian Space Agency, the conference will encourage the sharing of programmatic, technical and policy information, as well as collaborative solutions, challenges, lessons learnt and paths forward among all nations.
It will focus on the theme ‘Fire and Ice – Space for Climate Action’ and will address various topics of interest in relation to space and climate action.
Selected sessions will be streamed this week on ESA WebTV. The full streaming programme can be seen here.