UN Technology Bank and UNOOSA partner to expand the use of satellite data in least developed countries

ITU Map of Least Developed Countries

Satellite data will be easier to access and use in the least developed countries, thanks to a new partnership between the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

The new collaboration will enhance the capacity and skills of policy and decision-makers to access different types of space infrastructure. This will include data and applications that can help in disaster management cycles, planning for climate change adaptation and natural resource management.

Both organisations will also join forces to identify and support the acceleration of sustainable development through the use of space technologies and contribute to global health-related challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo said: “Through this agreement, we aim to bring space technology where it is most needed, helping some of the countries most exposed to disasters, to the effects of climate change and to challenges such as pandemics, acquire tools and capabilities to counteract them effectively. This cooperation will combine the UN Technology Bank’s established network among LDCs and its knowledge of their specific challenges with UNOOSA’s expertise in space applications for sustainable development, helping save and improve lives.”

“Access to timely satellite data allows governments and industries to share information, to make informed decisions, to act on time, and to provide new applications in critical areas of development for Least Developed Countries,” said Joshua Setipa, UN Technology Bank’s Managing Director. “The partnership and collaboration between the two agencies will focus on enhancing the capacity of experts and supporting policy- and decision-makers to access and use all types of space-based information that support the full disaster management cycle. Improving the understanding of how LDCs use space-based solutions to address climate change adaptation, disaster risk management, and natural resources management will promote the achievement of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.”

About the UN Technology Bank
The UN Technology Bank is a new global organisation, dedicated to enhancing the contribution of science, technology and innovation for sustainable development in the world’s 46 least developed countries. Least developed countries are low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development. They are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks and have low levels of human assets.
The UN Technology Bank supports national and regional technological efforts in the least developed countries, reinforcing partnerships across sectors and helping nations identify and use appropriate technologies to transform their economies and improve livelihoods.

About the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is the only UN office entirely dedicated to the peaceful uses of outer space. UNOOSA works to help all countries, especially developing ones, access and leverage the benefits of space to accelerate sustainable development. UNOOSA does so through a two-fold approach: on one side, it provides resources such as training, workshops, conferences and knowledge-sharing portals, on areas ranging from space law to space applications; on the other side, it implements these with concrete opportunities for countries to expand their space capabilities, such as fellowships and competitive programmes. Some of these programmes
target specifically developing countries, for example under our Access to Space 4 All Initiative. In the area of disaster risk reduction, UNOOSA’s dedicated programme, UN-SPIDER, helps countries use space data and technologies, such as satellite imagery, to prevent and manage disasters.

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