« back ESA Conference "Space for a green and digital recovery"

30 September - 1 October 2021, Ljubljana, Slovenia

The Slovenian Ministry of Economic Development and Technology and the European Space Agency (ESA) organised a 2-day Space for Green and Digital Recovery conference, which underlined the possibilities offered by space technology in tackling climate change, and highlighted the potential of space technology for a digital and smart society and for addressing various issues at global but also local level.

The Space and the Green Transition section addressed Environmental risk, Optimised climate adaptation planning, Forestry & Renewable energy, Ecosystem resilience and Waste monitoring, bringing together a great community of experts from Danube Commission, DMCSEE, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Space-SI and Planetek Italia.

Another section, Regional Opportunities in Central Europe, focused specifically on satellite-based products in need among the countries in this part of Europe. Speakers from EarthPlus, German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, EUSPA, Cosylab and Arctur triggered food for thought with topics on EO Innovation, Scalability & Market Opportunities, EU Space Data in Support of Regional Recovery and Innovation, Enabling Smart Actions, and Sustainable Tourism.

The topics addressed in these sections spoke of vast opportunities that space data can be used for, shall there be a need or specific requirement. The conference thus offered a great opportunity to speak of practical examples where countries in the region recognise a need for specific satellite-based datasets to better adapt and recover from challenges imposed by climate change. Some food-for-thought ideas included:

1. Supporting advanced users in agriculture/water sector: ministries/authorities, insurance, inspections, agricultural advisory services, water agencies
2. Strengthening regional and national capacities: consortium DMCSEE and NMHSs, civil protection agencies (floods, drought), hubs, trainings
3. Creating tailored applications for better climate change adaptation: DroughtWatch upgrade, irrigation schedule, vegetation status (phenology)
4. Launching targeted project calls for the practical implementation of the country’s products (apps)

The conference concluded with an invitation to look out for options to collaborate with ESA on country requirements.