Space Activities to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

In the last decades, our world – and especially the space sector – has experienced vast changes. Cheaper launching facilities and options, increasingly compact technology that makes it possible to pack vast potential into smaller devices, a higher appetite for space exploration worldwide, in combination with economic growth and rapid innovation, have led to a boom in the space sector. New actors, including private companies, are increasingly participating in space activities, with more and more ambitious targets.

The use of space technologies in our everyday life is also constantly increasing. Nowadays, there is a massive use of space data on Earth – mobile phones, internet, GNSS devices and TV are possible only thanks to space technologies. This increasing range and volume of uses encourages the development of ever smaller satellites, cheaper and easier to launch, and more and more private companies are investing in developing these technologies.

Remote sensing applications are also rapidly evolving, as are their uses: for example, Earth observation satellites provide us with increasingly more accurate and more detailed images, which open up new ways to use space-related data, in particular for sustainable development, for example, chiefly, in the fight against climate change.

Collaborating with the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs

The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) works closely with United Nations Member States to foster the peaceful use of outer space, support capacity building and develop national space infrastructures, regulation, research and technology. Through the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) and its two subcommittees, UNOOSA provides all member states with a unique platform to build cooperation in outer space on topics ranging from space debris mitigation to space traffic management and space exploration projects.

By leveraging the knowledge and abilities of various partners, the Office aims to bring the benefits of space to everyone, everywhere. This often happens through triangular approaches, as under the Access for Space for All Initiative.

UNOOSA works directly with governments to increase their capacity to leverage space technology for disaster risk reduction: for example, providing technical advisory and institutional strengthening missions to member states to deliver training programs and build capacity on topics such as how to prepare maps of drought indicators, and how to use space technology in the fight against both natural and human-made calamities such as floods, landslides and earthquakes. UNOOSA often advocates for greater use of space for sustainable development.

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