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ESA and ADB elevate partnership on EO for sustainable development

relationship between ESA’s GDA and ADB
Robert A. Boothe (ADB), Vijay Padmanabhan (ADB), Paolo Manunta (ADB)
Demonstration of historical and future satellite EO data at ESA’s Φ-experience in Frascati/Rome, providing the ADB delegation with valuable insights into environmental developments and trends.

On Friday 27 October, the GDA programme team welcomed a distinguished delegation from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) (Vijay Padmanabhan, Robert A. Boothe, and Paolo Manunta) at ESA’s ESRIN facilities in Frascati/Rome. The purpose of ADB’s visit was to discuss recent developments and further accelerate the long-standing collaboration between ESA and ADB. During the visit, avenues for further cooperation and synergy were explored, analysing both current collaborative efforts and future opportunities. The meeting served as a platform for aligning strategic visions and defining the roadmap for joint initiatives that could make a tangible difference for development initiatives.

To kickstart the visit, a tour of ESA’s Φ-experience was curated to showcase the potential of satellite Earth Observation (EO) technology in action. ADB delegates enjoyed an immersive experience and observed first-hand EO applications, emphasising how satellites are impacting various sectors and contributing to shaping a sustainable future.

In the following discussions, initiatives were brought to attention, showcasing projects currently led by ESA’s GDA programme. With an emphasis on the transformative capacity of satellite applications, the ESA team presented progress and success stories, highlighting how these initiatives are accelerating the impact of EO on the global development landscape.

Anika Ruess (ESA), Michele Martino (ESA), Vijay Padmanabhan (ADB), Robert A. Boothe (ADB)
ADB delegation experiencing satellite EO applications, demonstrating its transformative power in sustainable development.

The scope of the discussions was broad, delving into topics such as environmental conservation, disaster response, and the development of robust infrastructure. The ADB team, featuring members from the Bank’s Strategic Partnerships Department and Digital Technology for Development Division, highlighted strategic efforts in promoting poverty reduction boosted through the ADF (Asian Development Fund) and stressed in particular the need for capacity development on digital technologies (including satellite EO) both Bank-internally as well as with counterparts in developing member countries.

We see huge potentials for the analytics. It is crucial to foster awareness about the capabilities of Earth Observation and build capacity accordingly.

Vijay Padmanabhan, Deputy Director General, ADB Strategy, Policy, and Partnerships Department
Michele Martino (ESA), Stefano La Terra Bella (ESA), Stephen Coulson, Robert A. Boothe (ADB), Paolo Manunta (ADB), Vijay Padmanabhan (ADB)
Hands-on demonstration of a topographic map in practical use, serving as valuable tool for planning and decision-making in various fields, including disaster management, urban planning, and environmental assessment.

The visit not only strengthened the relationship between ESA’s GDA and ADB but also contributed to the continued development of a path for impactful collaboration. Given the enduring dedication to their partnership, the future offers the promise of a collective endeavour to foster constructive change and sustainable development for the Asia and Pacific region.

ESA’s GDA Programme is a global partnership implemented with key International Financial Institutions (IFIs) – World Bank and Asian Development Bank – to mainstream the use of EO into development operations. For more information, please visit our website: