The World Bank is a vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world. At first glance, this may not appear to be connected to space technology, but large development projects and the state of Earth's environment are intrinsically linked.
Global climate change is also an increasingly important challenge in overcoming poverty and advancing development in the poorest countries and communities, which will suffer the earliest and the most.
These factors have led to a growing demand for information about the state of Earth's environment land, oceans, atmosphere, cryosphere. The global scale, consistency and timeliness of the required information means looking at new sources of measurements: the view from space.
From their unique vantage point, Earth observation (EO) satellites are powerful tools for monitoring the environment consistently around the globe, and over time. This information can be used to support the planning, implementation and assessment of a wide range of World Bank projects, many of which may be affected by climate change.
Given the increasing demand for geospatial information, ESA (hosted by the Sustainable Development Team) met with the World Bank in 2008 to raise awareness on how European EO missions and specialist information services available from European companies could support World Bank projects around the globe.
Following the visit, ESA carried out some initial demonstrations over the last year to illustrate the potential of EO information and methodologies for World Bank activities helping countries better adapt to climate change.
Coral reef monitoring
Research indicates that coral reefs will not survive the rapid increases in global temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide forecasted for this century by the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Coral reefs are threatened by overfishing, coastal pollution, globa
|Contact: Robert Meisner|
European Space Agency