With the increasing prevalence of Earth Observation (EO) – or remote sensing – technologies being employed in development work, the World Bank and the European Space Agency (ESA) are now partnering for the purpose of mainstreaming the use of EO into the World Bank's lending operations, across all of the Bank's Sustainable Development Network's sectors.
In July 2010, through a competitive process, twelve World Bank teams from across a variety of sectors and representing all regions were selected and will receive the pro-bono assistance of ESA to apply Earth Observation services in selected operations (sectors benefitting include disaster risk management, water resources management, urban development, agriculture and forestry, natural resources management, and climate change).
Benefits of Earth Observation
EO services are potentially useful tools in providing a wide range of environmental information to support the monitoring and management of World Bank projects. The particular advantages of EO in this context are:
The EO-based information allows World Bank teams and our stakeholders to:
EO assessments can be undertaken at varying spatial scales from local to global and provide access to information that is non-intrusive, objective and consistent around the globe, thus providing global data sets to address global problems. EO can also provide long-term continuity to data sets allowing for temporal as well as spatial analysis to be undertaken.
The first small-scale demonstrations were provided through ESA at no cost to the Bank in the areas of: coastal zone management (Bangladesh), marine ecosystems (Belize), urban development and climate change (Egypt), and water resources management (Peru/Bolivia).