States affected by fragility, conflict or violence face growing threats to state security, the economy, and to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Major challenges such as a turbulent economy or surges of violence are causes of human insecurity altering people’s way of life. Satellite Earth Observation (EO) technology has major potential to inform and facilitate international development work in a globally consistent manner.
EO4SD – Earth Observation for Sustainable Development – is an initiative from the European Space Agency to increase the uptake of satellite-based information in the international financial institutions’ programs. The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), through the United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT), is part of the specific “EO4SD Fragility, Conflict and Security” project which aims to make EO-based products and services mainstream tools in the working processes of projects funded by international financial institutions in States affected by fragility. The goal is to provide meaningful support that will contribute to an increase in both environmental and human security in states affected by fragility.
As part of this project, UNITAR is in charge of the production of services related to elections, illegal activities, crimes against humanity, population displacements and onset of violence. Performed analyses include refugees monitoring in the Lake Chad area, damage assessments in Cameroon and support to project preparation phases in Pakistan. UNITAR is also leading capacity building activities. These took place in Colombia and Switzerland for example, but also increasingly online following the covid-19 outbreak.