Belgium: Developing countries are increasingly using satellite data to monitor urban development and natural resources, according to a recent EurActive report. The report states that the consumption is backed by funding from developed countries.
The report says that satellite data can help developing countries in solving issues like forest protection, urban growth planning and water resource management. Since most developing countries cannot afford the cost of processing and analysing satellite imagery, they are highly dependent on international cooperation. International space programmes play an important role in arranging satellite data to address these issues effectively. Eoworld, the World Bank project in collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA), is one such project that helps in collection and analysis of satellite data in more than 20 countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The space agency provides free images, as well as the processing and analysis in the context of specific projects. The World Bank is responsible for defining and implementing the projects. “This type of programme is especially aimed at countries that do not have tools for collecting and processing data efficiently,” says Anna Burzykowska, a specialist of Earth observation at the World Bank. Similarly in a coastal community in North Africa, a project has allowed to observe the adaptation to climate change in the region and locate the areas where the land sags. The report also talks about a French Development Agency programme which helps in monitoring the evolution of forests in Central Africa.