In order to help all countries identify how space can sustain their efforts to reach the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to facilitate access to space solutions with an emphasis on developing countries.
Through the MoU, the two organisations will work together on developing a UN Space Solution Compendium (“SSC”) containing an overview of how selected space projects, and space technology in general, can help all countries achieve the SDGs. The SSC will document and identify how space applications offered today or being developed by agencies, research institutions and companies are relevant for the SDGs. The SSC will be hosted by UNOOSA.
UNOOSA and ESA will identify what structure and information may usefully be considered for the SSC, through the sharing of relevant expertise and networks across the international space sector. They will jointly draw on the information already contained in the ESA Sustainable Development Goals Catalogue (“ESA catalogue”) and of interest for integration into the SSC. Both partners will promote the use of the SSC to enhance visibility and inform potential users of the value of these tools, to facilitate dialogue and cooperation between such users, especially those in developing countries.
UNOOSA Director, Simonetta Di Pippo, commented: “This partnership with ESA will result in the development of a practical tool for all Member States of the United Nations, and in particular developing countries, to identify and incorporate space solutions in their strategies for achieving the SDGs. Thanks to its experience and capabilities, ESA is the ideal partner to produce such an ambitious tool and we look forward to working together to ensure that through this product the enormous potential of space is leveraged for sustainable development everywhere”.
ESA Director General, Jan Wörner, commented: “Through this partnership with UNOOSA we hope to improve the knowledge of what space programmes, data or technologies can bring to users on Earth, going beyond our Member States, supporting the measurement of many indicators attached to the Sustainable Development Goals and helping also directly achieve the Goals. All 17 Goals can be supported, some more than others. The catalogue that we have built and put online in March 2018 is already showing some hundreds of examples and will serve as a basis for the support we will give to UNOOSA for the UN Space Solution Compendium”.