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PhilSA Proposes EU-ASEAN Space Dialogue for Sustainable Development

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During the third Philippine-European Union Joint Committee Meeting (JCM), which was recently held in Brussels, Belgium, the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) suggested the establishment and coordination of discussion with and between the European Union and the ASEAN.

According to Dr Ariel Blanco, Director of the Space Information Infrastructure Bureau for the Philippine Space Agency, the dialogue’s main goal is to assist both the Philippines and the European Union in utilising space-based technology and applications for addressing climate change and achieving sustainable development goals.

Given the recent signature of the Copernicus Administrative Agreement between the European Commission and PhilSA, the latter has also stated its interest in coordinating a dialogue between the EU and ASEAN.

In addition to leading the Philippines-EU Space discussion, Director Ariel claims that PhilSA also sees the Philippines serving as the coordinator of discussion connections between the EU and ASEAN.

Based on the Copernicus agreement, the first of its type in Southeast Asia, PhilSA thinks that the nation ought to take the lead in facilitating communication between the two regional blocs to promote collaboration in space science and technology. As a result, they suggest starting the EU-ASEAN Space Dialogue.

To address societal challenges of shared interest, such as long-term management of natural resources, monitoring of marine and coastal areas, water resource management, mitigating the effects of climate change, disaster risk reduction, food security, rural development, and public health, the Copernicus agreement will facilitate the reciprocal exchange of satellite data and encourage its use and application.

To support experimental initiatives utilising Copernicus, PhilSA will establish a data portal to disseminate Copernicus Sentinel data and information in the Philippines and around the region. The agreement will serve as the foundation for the execution of a Copernicus capacity-building programme for the Philippines, funded by the Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA) of the European Commission.

The Philippines’ use of digital technology is also essential for gathering satellite data. Satellites that orbit the Earth gather satellite data, which is then sent via digital communication technology to ground stations. These ground stations receive and analyse satellite data using cutting-edge digital technologies.

Scientists, researchers, and government organisations in the Philippines can now access and use satellite data for a variety of purposes, including environmental monitoring, urban planning, and agricultural assessments. This is made possible by the efficient data transmission, storage, and analysis capabilities of digital technology.

Also, digital technology enables the use of satellite data for early warning systems, disaster risk assessment, and emergency response planning in the Philippines. The timely availability of satellite data helps authorities in preparing for and mitigating the impact of natural disasters, such as typhoons, floods, or landslides. Digital technology makes it possible for the Philippines to effectively acquire, analyse, and make available satellite data for scientific research and decision-making.

Additionally, PhilSA has reaffirmed its dedication to international capacity building and information exchange that will give Filipino scientists, researchers, and students in the field of SSTA exposure and career development possibilities. PhilSA is investigating collaborations with the European Space Agency and European Commission scholarship initiatives.

The formation of the Joint Committee gave the Philippines and the EU the opportunity to work methodically to examine all the opportunities for collaboration in many fields with a view to elevating the bilateral relationship and fortifying ties based on mutual respect and interest.  It also elevated bilateral ties to a new level and is expected to significantly deepen PH-EU ties.


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