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Earth Observation for Water Resource Management: Challenges and Opportunities for collaboration with the ESA

"A panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities for collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA)"

A Panel discussion is initiated to discuss the opportunities and challenges in applying Earth Observation in projects and thereby increasing the impact on the ground that satellite Earth Observation can have in development operations and activities.

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Part 1: Where is Earth Observation (EO) most relevant to development work and what are limitations for its adoption? How do we bring the Earth Observation community and Development community together? 

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Part 2: We are familiar with Earth Observation as a tool, but the one challenge is whom do we work with and how do we select a partner at the country level? How to make EO scalable and sustainable within development projects? 

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Part 3: EO services have a lot of potential to work across sectors. For example, marine pollution and coastal pollution have a clear overlap with environment or water has an overlap with urban development. Satellite images can explain why public services such as water and electricity services are not available. 

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Part 4: How do we institutionalize information and tools within the Bank, not just in countries but also across stakeholders? For example, for crop monitoring we might need the technical infrastructure to host the system in addition to the agricultural ministry to support the technology with the ground network. 

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Part 5: How do we bring different actors together to work across different sectors? Can we think of a baseline of free services that can be made accessible to spread EO tools around the world easily? 

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Part 6: Can we use Earth Observation (EO) tools to track and validate land degradation due to erosion at point scale? How do private sector players pay for this service and are there opportunities of economies of scale with other ongoing WBG projects in the country? 

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Part 7: Different institutions such as NASA and ESO work on different objectives and mandates. For World Bank to work on sustainable solutions, we have to go beyond R&D.

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Closing Remarks: If we want the tools to work and to inform better decision making with the client, we need to focus on localized and customized solutions.