FRASCATI, Italy and WASHINGTON, Oct. 25, 2017 - The European Space Agency (ESA) and Radiant.Earth announce their agreement to jointly enhance geospatial data literacy in the global development community to support tracking the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Geospatial information is central to accurately tracking and measuring the global progress of the SDGs,” says Radiant.Earth Founder and CEO Anne Hale Miglarese.
The ESA and Radiant.Earth cooperation focuses on merging the rapid innovation in machine learning and cloud computing with traditional remote sensing science to support global development objectives in addition to the SDGs. This cooperation will include 1) capacity building and outreach activities linked to the analysis and measurement of the SDGs using satellite data; 2) technical collaboration, including access to each other’s platforms, data and tools; and 3) methodological components to develop shared applications and services to feature the value of geospatial data and to help develop a better workflow for practitioners.
Josef Aschbacher, ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes, said that "Global and Open Earth Observation data from space will help to better guide development practitioners in managing natural resources in a sustainable way. The cooperation between ESA and Radiant. Earth will also contribute to increasing the uptake of Earth Observation data by the wider development community, thereby helping to deliver the full societal value of open data."
About 17 years ago, United Nations member countries committed to upholding individual and societal progress. Global leaders pledged to eradicate poverty and hunger, improve global health, ensure environmental sustainability and foster global partnerships. This bold plan, which is the precursor to the SDGs, helped to leapfrog many countries out of poverty.
As Bill and Melinda Gates stated in their 2017 Annual Letter, “extreme poverty has been cut in half over the last 25 years” and “122 million lives have been saved since 1990.”
The SDGs are designed to usher in the next stage of global accomplishments towards improving human lives.
“Radiant.Earth works with a diverse group of actors to ensure the global development community has greater access to Earth imagery, as well as to put the innovation in geospatial technologies to work for the community,” Ms. Miglarese said. “As a neutral entity that collaborates with a variety of sources, we can give an unbiased perspective to implementation and evaluation decision-making processes.”
It is envisioned that the partnership will help the global development community take up the benefits of geospatial data and to mainstream it in development processes.
Radiant.Earth is a non-profit organization, committed to aggregating the world’s open Earth imagery, and providing access and education on its use to the global development community.