Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

International Astronautical Federation joins project to protect World Heritage sites

22.03.2007
The joint ESA/UNESCO Open Initiative to conserve hundreds of natural and cultural World Heritage sites using Earth observation satellites gets additional backing as the International Astronautical Federation joins the growing number of space entities to pledge support to the project.

The Open Initiative, agreed upon by ESA and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) in 2001, involves satellites monitoring UNESCO World Heritage sites as unique and varied as the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Wall of China in order to provide early warnings of conditions that could threaten them, such as natural catastrophes, atmospheric contamination and changes in land use.

The signing of the partnership between the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and UNESCO took place today at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France. ESA’s Stephen Briggs, Head of Earth Observation Science and Applications Department, opened the ceremony with his thoughts on how Earth-observing satellites have benefited humanity.

Paying tribute to the first man in space in 1961, Briggs quoted Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first words spoken there: "‘I see Earth. It’s so beautiful.’ Indeed, observing Earth from space has truly revolutionised the way we view our home planet. With their unique global perspective, satellite systems offer incomparable advantages to help us better understand, manage and protect the Earth’s precious environment."

"The extraordinary cultural and natural diversity of the world is an important source of life and inspiration for humanity. Its preservation should be a responsibility shared by the whole international community," he added.

The name Open Initiative was chosen by ESA and UNESCO because they intended to have other space agencies join the partnership, and in 2003, when the initiative was formally launched, they called on others to participate.

To date, several space agencies have progressively established similar arrangements for providing satellite data to protect these sites, including Argentina, Brasil, Canada, India, the Iraq Space Department, Jordan, Morocco, Poland, Turkey and the United States (NASA).

The World Heritage list includes sites, monuments or landscapes that have been deemed of 'exceptional universal value' in either cultural or natural terms. There are currently 830 different sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. Of these, 644 of them are listed as cultural, 162 as natural and 24 as both. UNESCO considers 31 of them currently listed to be ‘in danger’. The initiative is especially aimed at helping developing nations monitor World Heritage sites on their territories more effectively.

ESA and UNESCO highlighted the potential of the initiative through a two-year pilot project called BEGo (Build Environment for Gorilla) in which satellite imagery and products were provided to conservation groups and authorities monitoring and protecting the habitats of endangered mountain gorillas in national parks located in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These parks are either considered World Heritage sites or candidate sites, and make up the last refuge of the less than 700 mountain gorillas still alive.

Because these habitats totalled more than eight hundred thousand hectares, with long boundaries across extremely inaccessible and seldom-mapped terrain, ground-based observations, if possible, were extremely difficult. Data from ESA satellites helped produce maps, detect changes over time in how the land was used and create three-dimensional digital elevation models of the terrain.

According to Eulalie Bashige, Director General of the Institut Congolais pour la Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the maps were considered helpful in making anti-poaching efforts more effective and planning out gorilla eco-tourism.

"ESA is determined to continue helping UNESCO and our other partners to promote the use of space technologies for the benefit of our heritage and to support initiatives that serve better the cause of equality around the globe," Briggs said.

Mariangela D'Acunto | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMP83R08ZE_environment_0.html

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>