Paris, 22 Oct 2002
An international conference on Space Applications for Heritage Conservation will open in Strasbourg, France on 5 November. The aim: to bring together experts on space and those concerned with the conservation of national and world heritage sites, and to look at the potential educational uses of space technologies for heritage conservation.
The conference also commemorates the 30th anniversary of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention and 30 years of using remote sensing satellites for civilian purposes. EURISY, the International Space University, NASA, the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and ESA are organising the conference which is co-sponsored by the Council of Europe, the City of Strasbourg and the Alsace region.
Present at this international conference will be distinguished experts from the archaeological, remote sensing and heritage conservation disciplines, and experts from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe and North America will present their experiences and share their knowledge about our global heritage.
It was in 1972 that the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage was adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO. To date it has been ratified by 175 countries and has become the most important international legal instrument for the protection of heritage.
Its primary mission is to define and conserve the world's heritage by drawing up a list of sites whose outstanding values should be preserved for all humanity and to ensure their protection through closer cooperation among nations.
World heritage sites include the Grand Canyon, which retraces two billion years of the earth's history; the enormous biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands, which inspired Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution and the historic city of Strasbourg, the site of the conference. These cultural and natural sites constitute, together with many others, a common heritage whose disappearance would be an irreparable loss.
Earth observation from space has many applications for safeguarding the Earth on which we live. One of the less well-known is that of keeping an eye on the state of conservation of the natural parks and reserves included in the list of world heritage sites. Satellites already being used for this purpose include Meteosat, Landsat, Spot and IRS. New generation satellites, such as ESA's Envisat, can also provide high resolution images and wider spectral capability including microwave frequencies.
To participate at the congress and/or the press event please contact:
Mrs Mary Fouassier
Tel: +33 1 47 34 00 79
European Space Agency
European Space Agency