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Linking Earth Observation Data and Sustainable Development Across the Atlantic

The workshop “Linking Earth Observation Data and Sustainable Development Across the Atlantic” took place in Centro de Congressos do Estoril in December 2019. It aimed to foster the use of information from Earth Observations (EO) for ocean-related activities carried out by researchers and stakeholders in the Central and Southern Atlantic.

Interested participants, some with limited or no experience of EO data and products, were also invited to join the Marine Technology Workshop 2019 (Marinetech19). This took place in the same week and has been organized by Instituto Hidrográfico biannually since 2015.

Throughout the workshop a number of real case studies, EO based tools and services were presented in a broad range of topics related with the ocean. It highlighted ESA’s initiatives in bringing consistent EO data to users, but also the new services based on EO data that have proven a powerful tool for the democratization of information and sustainable development across the Atlantic. It was explained how EO data can be directly and indirectly linked with all the SDGs from the UN 2030 Agenda.

The workshop gave participants the opportunity to share their work with more experienced users, including experts from ESA and Copernicus. Newcomers and experienced users discussed how the existing EO data and products, including the ESA’s CCI datasets, can be used to address specific issues across a diversity of topics from the Environment, Ocean, Coast and Sustainable Development.

It was clear that the linkage between data and the final users is of utmost importance and there is still much room for improvement. This issue must be considered a top priority for the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. This workshop enabled an open and synergetic discussion between professionals from different countries, scientific backgrounds and areas of expertise.

Benefiting from the joint organization of Marinetech19 the workshop was well attended with close to 100 participants per day, 42 of which were specific attendees of the “Linking Earth Observation data and Sustainable Development across the Atlantic.” The participants were directly invited from academic and technical institutions but the workshop was also promoted at other meetings in 2019.

The intended long-term outcome is the setup of new collaborations and partnerships as Blue Economy activities, with members drawn from different scientific disciplines and sectors across the Atlantic basin, routinely using ESA’s products and services while promoting the philosophy underlying the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) of the UN 2030 Agenda. The workshop aligned directly with six of the SGDs:

The workshop was funded by the ESA – Future Earth Partnership, 2018 and was organized by Instituto Hidrográfico, Portugal and AIR Centre, Portugal. The workshop also received funds from Deimos Engenharia, Portugal and GMV, Portugal and the support of Future Earth Coasts.