Parliamentarians from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) States visited ESA’s Operation Centre, ESOC, in Germany yesterday and learned how satellite data could boost their efforts to protect their continents.
The group was mainly comprised of members of the European Parliament, ACP Members of Parliament and staff from the European Commission. They were briefed on ESA's Earth observation (EO) missions and benefits for governments concerned with environmental monitoring and climate change.
The visit underlined the increasing use of space applications for environmental monitoring and highlighted the opportunity for emerging states to protect their environment today for future development.
ESA Director of Operations and Infrastructure Gaele Winters presented past and current missions as well as space applications for Galileo and GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), a European programme that provides autonomous and independent access to information for policy-makers, particularly in relation to environment and security.
Dr Frank Diekmann, Spacecraft Operations Manager for ESA’s Envisat, the world’s largest environmental satellite, gave a detailed presentation on EO and its applications and led a small workshop on climate change monitoring. Images from Envisat and ERS-2 satellites emphasized ESA's leading role in EO and scientific research.