The European Commission (EC), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Network of European Regions Using Space Technologies (NEREUS) have launched a new report consisting of 99 stories from European public authorities that showcases how they benefit from Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth observation programme.
The report intends to serve as a practical handbook exemplifying the different types of Copernicus uses as well as the processes that lead a public administration to develop and use space-based information and data.
The report presents how Copernicus services and data from the Sentinel satellites they built on are used for agriculture, forests, biodiversity and environment, climate and water quality monitoring, among others.
A total of 177 entities from 32 countries have contributed to the stories presented in the publication. These are mostly public authorities (57) but also private companies (39), academia (39) and research institutes (35) that develop solutions for the public administration.
For example, one of the stories from the report presents “Copernicus for efficient farming in the western cape of South Africa”. Copernicus stimulates the efficient use of water resources in farming thorough an innovative approach using an online platform to monitor vineyards and orchards, building on frequently updated satellite imagery and weather information. As a result, provides significant potential aid to agriculture and water management worldwide.
Since 2012, public authorities have been using data from seven Sentinel satellites and six Copernicus Services in operation in order to address environmental challenges such as food security, rising sea levels, disasters, urbanization, diminishing polar ice and the overarching issue of climate change.
Screenshot from the report: DELINEATION OF A FOREST FIRE OVER ENSKOGEN (Sweden) on July 24, 2018 Copernicus emercency management service. Image: European Union.
The publication was presented in autumn 2018 at a dedicated event at the European Parliament addressing policy-makers at EU, national and the regional level. Selected representatives from local and regional authorities were invited to share their user experience and describe the impact of space-enabled solutions on their administrations.
“We believe this is only the start and that we are just at the very beginning of a change of society,” said Andreas Veispak, Head of Space Data for Societal Challenges and Growth Unit at the European Commission.