DUBAI - The UAE Space Agency is leading the first participation of the Space Pavilion in the 28th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP 28), between 30 November to 12 December 2023, under the slogan ‘Space for Sustainability’.
Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Chairperson of UAE Space Agency, said, “At a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges due to climate change, the space sector is emerging as a vital tool to monitor and understand these changes using advanced technologies in space exploration. This helps us in developing effective strategies to combat the effects of climate change and provide sustainable solutions to the environmental challenges we face.”
Al Amiri added, “While our participation in COP 28 is an opportunity for knowledge exchange, it also constitutes a platform to unite global efforts towards confronting current challenges, so we can work together to develop new technologies to improve lives and protect our planet. Our participation in the conference reflects our commitment to combating climate change, which is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity. We do this by utilising space data analysis applications that we receive from satellites and finding solutions to the challenges of natural disasters on Earth.”
Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, Director-General of UAE Space Agency, said, “The UAE Space Agency plays a major role in promoting sustainability and combating global climate challenges. Through our ambitious space projects, we seek to develop advanced technology that effectively contributes to monitoring the Earth’s environment and climate changes.”
Al Qubaisi added, “Our use of satellites and other space-based technologies provides accurate data that helps scientists and policymakers better understand environmental impacts and develop innovative strategies to adapt to and mitigate climate change.”
Al Qubaisi continued, “We believe that space technology has the potential to bring significant benefits to Earth by providing sustainable solutions in agriculture, water resource management, and biodiversity conservation. Our initiatives in environmental monitoring and climate research represent an essential part of our commitment to preserving our planet for future generations.”
The Agency will organise the “Climate Innovation Sprint - Earth Observation Solutions” hackathon, with the participation of entrepreneurs, data scientists, and programmers to train on the analytics tools provided and address sustainability challenges. The themes for the hackathon will be loss and damage, food security, land use, and climate-induced disasters.
Space Agencies Leaders’ Summit
On 4th December 2023, the UAE Space Agency will host the first of its kind ‘Space Agencies Leaders’ Summit’, with the participation of more than 20 space agencies. By bringing together key actors from global climate policy and space exploration sectors, the summit will address climate programmes and initiatives that will expedite the pathway to 1.5°C.
The summit will focus on enhancing data sharing between established and emerging space nations, strengthening climate research by allocating resources and funding towards climate research initiatives within the space sector, supporting climate monitoring initiatives by establishing new programmes, and promoting sustainable space operations by minimising the environmental impact of space operations.
It will also raise awareness about climate change and the role of space-based technologies in addressing it, showcase innovative technological solutions, promote entrepreneurship in the space sector, encourage private sector investment in space-climate programmes, and explore opportunities for funding and financing of space-climate initiatives.
“Space for Sustainability” Conference
The UAE Space Agency is also set to host the "Space for Sustainability" conference at the Space Pavilion. This global gathering, attended by leaders, climate experts, and space agency representatives, will spotlight the immense potential of space technology in combating climate change. Featuring vital presentations and dialogue sessions, the event will explore how space innovations can drive sustainable solutions for our planet's future.
The conference will feature multiple keynote speeches and panel sessions. Representatives of international space agencies will shed light on a wide range of topics, such as climate resilience and ecosystem monitoring, and improving disaster risk knowledge and climate resilience with innovation and space technology. The conference will also include a series of presentations and more than 60 dialogue sessions focusing on the use of satellite data, space technology for sustainability, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and the latest sustainable technologies and initiatives in the space sector.
Projects and Initiatives
The UAE Space Agency will highlight several programmes, initiatives, and projects, in addition to announcing the operational phase for the Space Data Center, participating in high-level discussions on space and climate, and presenting the Loss and Damage Atlas. The Agency will also highlight the Geo-Spatial Analytics Platform, and the Space Analytics and Solutions (SAS) Programme, which constitute innovative systems to meet global sustainability challenges and develop applications in the field of Earth observation and remote sensing.
The winners of the SAS Challenge will participate in the Space Pavilion, including Farmin, which will provide an overview of its advanced technologies in the field of agricultural monitoring and natural resource management, and 4 Earth Intelligence, which specialises in providing solutions for using satellite data to monitor environmental and climate changes.
As a pioneer in research and development in space technology and its impact on climate issues, Khalifa University will also participate by highlighting the importance of the Loss and Damage Atlas resulting from climate change, and how space technologies can help in assessing and mitigating these impacts.