Speaker Bio & Abstract

Stephen Coulson Head of Sustainable Initiatives Office
European Space Agency

Biography"Stephen Coulson has 30 years' experience in the field of satellite Earth Observation and its applications; the last 25 of which have been with the European Space Agency (ESA).
Since 2000, Stephen has been managing an ESA program to support the development of a wide range of EO-based environmental information products & services for more than 400 Public & Private sector user organisations. This work was carried out with the European EO downstream services industry (many micro-companies and SMEs) and was in preparation of the EU Copernicus programme.
Over the last 5-8 years, Stephen has been focussing on developing the ESA cooperation with the main International Development Banks (e.g. World Bank, etc) in order to expand the use of EO-based environmental information into the working practices and financing of Development Aid/Assistance." AbstractESA first began exploring the potential of Satellite Earth Observation (EO) in the context of Development Aid/Assistance activities during 2010-15. Satellite EO provides a wide range of different types of environmental information that are global, comprehensive, accurate, repeatable and timely, and that are key to the effective planning and implementation of Development Assistance activities.

The initial ESA work focussed on demonstrations of the benefits that a wide variety of EO-based information can bring to the planning and implementation of Development projects carried out by key stakeholders; namely the main International Financing Institutions (IFIs). These include the World Bank Group (WBG), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Global Facility for the Environment (GEF).

The talk will give an overview of the results achieved to date and outline the future plans to ‘Mainstream & Transfer’ EO-based environmental information into Development Assistance working processes & practices through a joint, coordinated initiative (“Space in support of International Development Aid”), led by ESA, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, for the 5-year period 2020-24.