André Kuipers: world ambassador

André Kuipers
15 May 2012

Observing Earth from far above, ESA astronaut André Kuipers is acting as a world ambassador for the WWF, which issued its flagship publication the Living Planet Report today.

The Living Planet Report measures changes in biodiversity by tracking 9000 populations of more than 2600 of the world’s species. André wrote the foreword to the report and is doing his part to show how fragile our world really is.

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We only have one Earth

Aircraft trails

André has been concerned about our planet since his last mission to the International Space Station in 2004. He has been sending us images that show the impact humans are having on our climate.

“We only have one Earth. From up here I can see humanity’s footprint, including forest fires, air pollution and erosion – challenges which are reflected in this edition of the Living Planet Report,” said André.

The report illustrates how our demand on natural resources has become unsustainable. By 2050, two out of every three people will live in a city. Humanity requires new and improved ways of managing natural resources.

Night lights in Europe as seen from satellites

Using ESA’s new NightPod camera aid, André is taking sharper pictures than ever before of cities at night. Light pollution is a dramatic example of energy that humans waste.

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View all of André’s images on his Flickr photo stream, or follow the astronaut on Twitter. View the links to the right.

André's Flickr stream: recording humanity's presence

Using ESA’s new NightPod camera aid, André is taking sharper pictures than ever before of cities at night. Light pollution is a dramatic example of energy that humans waste.

View all of André’s images in his Flickr photo stream, or follow the astronaut on Twitter. View the links to the right.

ESA satellites monitor the Earth

Sea-surface temperature, May 2008

To be able to understand and manage human impact on Earth better, ESA is providing data from a range of satellites.

Sea-surface temperature, May 2008

Satellites offer the only practical means of monitoring Earth as a whole. Sensitive spaceborne instruments gather precise data to unravel the complexities of our planet and track changes taking place. They have contributed significantly to the information in the Living Planet Report.

Apart from benefitting European research requirements, this also ensures that decision-makers are equipped with the information to tackle the challenges of climate change, secure a sustainable future and respond to natural and human-induced disasters.

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