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Space Activities

© Cnes 2004 - 2010 - Distribution Astrium Services / Spot Image
The satellite image shows the landscape surrounding Timbuktu, composed mainly of sand and desert. Between 1901 and 1996, the temperature increased by 1.4°C in this area. The impact of droughts is also becoming significant.

The Earth is always changing. Powerful forces shape our air, water and land, and will continue to transform our planet. In 1972, when the first public earth observation satellite was launched, our Earth had 3.7 billion habitants. Today the figure has almost doubled to over 7 billion people.

Our ability to forecast weather, climate, and natural hazards depends critically on satellite-based observations. Our changing Earth can be observed, measured and understood through Earth observation from space.

UNESCO’s space related activities aim to bring the benefits of space technologies to developing Member States. They are also designed to create awareness among Member States by showing them, with a series of applications, the full potential of space technologies for the well-being of humanity.

UNESCO space activities are mainly:

  • The Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), implemented by the International Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO-IOC)
  • Earth Observation, through the Global Earth Observation (GEO and GEOOS) fora, where UNESCO is represented by its Earth Sciences Programme
  • Support of the activities of the World Heritage Convention with the assistance of a large network of UNESCO space partners.

Through all of these activities, UNESCO demonstrates that space can significantly contribute to Science, Education, Culture and Communication.

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