The European Space Agency (ESA) Living Planet Symposium takes place every three years with approximately 4000 to 5000 participants. The previous symposium was held in Milan during May 2019 – with extensive support from the city and university. From 23 to 27 May 2022, the world's largest specialist conference in the field of Earth observation will be coming to Germany for the first time – to Bonn to be precise. The German Space Agency at DLR, which coordinates Germany's participation in ESA on behalf of the Federal Government, is based there, as are various UN secretariats focusing on environmental and climate issues. The federal city on the Rhine has also recently become home to part of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). In addition, the universities in Bonn and Cologne, together with the Forschungszentrum Jülich, founded the Center for Earth System Observations and Computational Analysis (CESOC) in 2020.
Observing Earth from space with the help of satellites is an essential building block for permanent, active environmental and climate monitoring and the measures to be derived from these for global and regional environmental and climate protection.
"Germany is among the world leaders in the development and application of Earth observation technologies. As a major partner for ESA, we are very pleased to be co-hosting the Living Planet Symposium. The symposium is an excellent opportunity for an international exchange between experts on current global challenges that affect us all, such as climate protection, food security or the implementation of sustainable technologies, which we can address in a more focused way with the help of Earth observation," says Walther Pelzer, a member of the DLR Executive Board and Head of the German Space Agency at DLR. "We would like to use this opportunity to help shape the themes of the event and to place important environmental and climate policy goals in the national and international arena. At the same time, I am pleased that many activities are being planned around the symposium to make people understand the benefits and value of Earth observation using satellites and satellite data."
Toni Tolker-Nielsen, ESA's Acting Director of Earth Observation Programmes, emphasised: "The upcoming symposium is set be the most all-encompassing event so far. We will explore and demonstrate all manner of benefits and future potential that Earth observation has to offer, from understanding Earth systems to forging new partnerships in order to expand user bases and increase access to capital, to empowering the green transition where Earth observation-based services can be integrated into policies."
The German Space Agency at DLR is supporting ESA in the preparatory team, and DLR is co-hosting the conference. Further information can be found on the Living Planet Symposium 2022 website.