Earth Day 2021 – SatCen and Security from Space

Every year, millions of people around the world stop to reflect and celebrate Earth Day. This year, however, Earth Day falls at a crossroads for the security of our planet. It marks the second Earth Day since the start of the coronavirus pandemic and follows a year of impactful climate disasters from the fires of Siberia and the heatwaves in Europe to the wildfires in California, the hurricanes in Central America and the flooding in Africa.


On 22 April 2021, to mark Earth Day, SatCen, from its RTDI (Research, Technology, Development and Innovation) Unit, has released a short video message highlighting the different projects, initiatives and activities performed by the Centre related to Climate Security.



With a culture of innovation and through the exploitation of satellite and collateral data, SatCen uses space for the benefit of Earth, to better understand our planet and to tackle both present and emerging issues for society. By documenting and understanding Earth’s changing climate impacts on citizens and societies, SatCen’s RTDI unit is a notable centre of competence and active member of the European Union’s projects and initiatives for addressing Climate Security in support of security on Earth.


One such initiative is that of the Digital Twin Earth, which aims at building digital models of Earth that serve to monitor different phenomena and, hopefully, support the prevention of undesired issues. In particular, SatCen’s core focus lies in tailoring activities to models related to civil security, as was presented in the related session of the ESA ɸ-week 2020: “A Digital Twin Earth for Security”.


Moreover, within the cooperation framework established in the Administrative Arrangement between SatCen and the European Space Agency (ESA), a workshop on Climate Security is under preparation, with the expected participation of stakeholders and experts in Earth Observation (EO) and related policies.


These initiatives are complemented by cooperation activities within the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), where SatCen is the Participating Organization leading the Space and Security Community Activity to foster the use of EO for security while supporting the GEO engagement priorities: the UN2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.


In addition, SatCen participates in a number of Horizon 2020 projects such as GEM, where it is leading the implementation of a Climate Security pilot application, in which EO data are combined with other data sources (e.g. conflicts, mobility patterns), to correlate the information extracted with environmental or climate events, as to better understand the “Climate-Security nexus”.


 To find out more about SatCen’s RTDI Unit and its initiatives, visit our website.

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    Earth Day Video Message