ESA supports Reuters humanitarian trust

June 21, 2002

Paris, 20 June 2002

A collaboration arrangement was today signed between Reuters Foundation Director, Maureen Marlowe, and ESA's Director of Earth Observation Programmes, José Achache, at Reuters Corporate headquarters in London.

Under this arrangement the European Space Agency will assist Reuters Foundation and its AlertNet service in providing information and imagery from ESA Earth observation missions and promoting the use of satellite remote-sensing data by the international humanitarian aid community. More specifically, ESA will provide access to information from its satellite data archives and from the current ERS-2 and Envisat missions.

ESA will also involve Reuters Foundation in the user consultation processes it is conducting for the purpose of identifying the satellite data requirements of humanitarian aid organisations, as a contribution to the definition of the European GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) programme.

A dedicated "satellite image" web page will be developed on Reuters Foundation's AlertNet site, with images provided by ESA, setting out a number of case studies and a guide to Earth observation.

On signing the arrangement, José Achache, stated : "Today we have taken a major step forward in raising awareness among humanitarian aid organisations of the contributions satellite data can make in support of their missions. This will also help clarify their specific requirements so that they can be incorporated into the European GMES programme".

Maureen Marlowe said: "AlertNet's service to its member organisations will be significantly improved. The pictures and graphics from space will not only show terrain clearly, but enable our member agencies to track the movements of displaced people and monitor the impact of natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes more accurately and quickly"

Reuters Foundation, created in 1982, is a humanitarian and educational trust, primarily funded by Reuters, the global news, information and technology group. The Foundation focuses on areas where Reuters skills and expertise in information gathering, technology and communications can be put to use in ways which will benefit the communities in which Reuters works worldwide.

Reuters Foundation AlertNet service was launched in 1997 to provide fast news and communications for international disaster relief. Membership of the service currently includes more than 175 aid agencies from 35 countries. AlertNet acts as a platform for vital communication and information sharing within the humanitarian aid community worldwide.

For further information, please contact:

ESA Media Relations Office
Tel.: + 33(0)
Fax: + 33(0)1).

Reuters Foundation
Charlotte Poskitt (Marketing Executive)
Tel.: + 44 171 542 7398
Fax: + 44 171 542 8599

European Space Agency tml

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