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GDA at UN-Space

On Thursday, October 19th, the European Space Agency’s Global Development Assistance Programme and specifically the GDA activity focused on the thematic sector of Fragility, Conflict and Security (FCS), were presented at the open session of the United Nations Inter-Agency Meeting on Outer Space Activities (UN-Space). This session was hosted by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) at the United Nations Global Service Center (UNGSC), situated at the Pierozzi Air Base in Brindisi, Italy.

The event served as a platform for dialogue, bringing together representatives from various UN agencies and experts in the field of space. The primary focus was on Earth Observation and integrated applications in disaster risk management and sustainable development.

Several UN organisations and agencies were in attendance, including UNOOSA, UNGSC, WMO, UNESCO, ESCWA, FAO, ITU, UNCCD, and WFP.

For ESA’s GDA, Michela Corvino, Technical Officer of the GDA Fragility activity, introduced ESA’s activities aimed at promoting the value of Earth Observations for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and development operations.  She highlighted the partnership with major International Financial Institutions (IFIs), such as the World Bank Group (WBG) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which hold the institutional mandate to facilitate investments promoting sustainable development. This long-standing partnership between ESA’s GDA and the IFIs has played a pivotal role in establishing Earth Observation as a valuable information source for IFIs’ operations, spanning project planning, design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.  The cooperation is now poised to further mainstream EO services to support development assistance through the GDA programme. The GDA activities in support of international development projects play a crucial role in assisting developing and emerging economies in achieving their SDG Targets.

Luisa Bettili, Project Manager at e-GEOS, the leading company in the GDA AID FCS consortium, delved into the GDA FCS activity. She explained how the GDA FCS team provides crucial spatial data infrastructures, value-added services, analytics, and actionable insights to IFIs operating within fragile contexts. Luisa also offered insights into the GDA FCS case studies, with a particular emphasis on the multidisciplinary approach employed to support the ADB programme TA 9986 Regional – Enhancing Differentiated Approaches in Context-Sensitive Situations. This support is geared towards providing enhanced Countries Performance Assessment.