New initiative to help developing countries tackle climate crisis using powerful space technology – Commonwealth

A new initiative announced this week will help developing Commonwealth countries use powerful space technology to better predict and manage natural disasters and boost climate resilience.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, presented the initiative at an event hosted by the Lord Mayor of the City of London on 5 June 2024.
Developing countries are disproportionately impacted by climate-related disasters, despite contributing less to global greenhouse gas emissions and having limited financial resources to respond and rebuild.
Addressing representatives from government, space agencies, academia and business at the event, the Secretary-General said:
“Through our work, it has become clear that advances in technology and the rapid use of satellite data make space crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“I am proud to introduce our new initiative, ‘CommonSpace,’ which will leverage powerful space technology and data to help developing countries better predict, manage, and recover from increasingly frequent and severe climate disasters.
“In the long run, this initiative will provide these countries with essential data to make critical decisions, direct investments in resilience-building projects, and safeguard the lives and livelihoods of those on the frontline.”
The Commonwealth Space Collaboration ‘CommonSpace’ initiative aims to promote the sharing of innovative space technology, data and research across Commonwealth countries, particularly through a dedicated ‘Space Data Hub’.
The initiative builds on the ‘CommonSensing’ project – a partnership among Fiji, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and international partners, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, UK Space Agency and Catapult Satellite Applications, working together to build climate resilience and enhance access to climate finance using satellite technology.
The Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Science and Technology Professor Manahel Thabet will lead the ‘CommonSpace’ initiative. Her work, as an envoy, seeks to harness technology to boost progress on the SDGs.
Professor Thabet revealed further details of the initiative at the event, describing it as a “project that aligns with the pressing needs of our time”.
She continued: “Commonwealth initiatives, from the Blue Charter to CommonSpace, are more than projects; they are promises to our people, commitments to our future, and legacies for generations to come… Let us harness the power of space technology to create a world where every citizen enjoys a life of dignity, opportunity and hope.”
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