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EU unveils Earth observation program

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By Jel Santos 

The European Union’s (EU) Earth observation program, which can address environmental monitoring requirements of various industries and sectors, was recently introduced in the country by EU’s delegation to the Philippines.

During the National Conference on Copernicus Systems and Applications held in Makati City last March 11, scientists, technologists, policy-makers, development workers and business people discussed how to maximize the free Copernicus technology in addressing environmental monitoring requirements of various industries and sectors of the country.

Franz Jessen, EU ambassador to the Philippines, said the program gives data that can help mitigate impacts of climate change.

“Copernicus presents huge opportunities as it provides information on our environment, it monitors and helps mitigate climate change impacts and improves security for citizens and communities faced with the threat of natural disasters. Copernicus also triggers investments in space technology and infrastructure and it encourages downstream industry, namely the people who develop innovative applications and services thus helping creating growth and jobs,” he said.

Speakers during the conference all agreed that Earth monitoring was potent for a disaster-prone country like the Philippines.

Dr. Ugo Cortesi of the Italian National Research Center division on Copernicus (CNR), and Rory Donnelly of the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) tackled the current and future benefits of Copernicus services and Earth observation.

Various studies were presented, such as the successful implementation of satellite technology in waste management, environment monitoring, urban planning, emergency management, agriculture, land management, and other areas.

The program was made to monitor the earth and its many ecosystems from integrated space. It is user-driven and provides six free-of-charge operational services in the areas of atmosphere monitoring, marine environment monitoring, land monitoring, climate change, emergency management and security, EU said.

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