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Copernicus' support to Sustainable Development Goals and International Agreements' Industry workshop 
24/01/2019 – Brussels, Belgium

In 2015, the members of the United Nations adopted a set of ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These goals aim to address the world’s most pressing challenges over the next fifteen years, such as ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all. In order to measure and monitor progress towards the 17 SDGs and 169 associated targets, the UN has established a global list of indicators which will serve as a common benchmark for regular reporting of overall progress. Each target has between 1 and 3 indicators used to measure progress toward reaching the targets

“Earth observations offer unprecedented opportunities to modernise national statistical systems and improve the capacities of countries to efficiently track all facets of sustainable development. Satellite data has a role to play in relation to most of the 17 Goals and around a quarter of the Targets”, Satellite Earth Observations in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, 2018.

The Copernicus programme is a powerful instrument to help reporting on these SDG indicators and to provide the relevant information in support of effective monitoring of progress towards the SDG targets and compliancy with the International Agreements. The unprecedented amount of data and information generated by Copernicus supports decision-makers in developing adequate policies to achieve the goals and facilitates the monitoring of the SDGs and International Agreements. It is available on a full, free and open basis, which reduces the cost of monitoring measures indicators. It also allows for the development of operational products and services.

In the international context, the EU and its Member States are also Parties to many multi-lateral environmental agreements which address among others: biodiversity and nature protection, climate change, desertification, management of chemicals and waste, transboundary water and air pollution, industrial accidents, maritime and river protection, environmental liability, etc. As signatories of the treaties, the EU and its Member States are committed to respect the treaties and conventions, but the EU is also committed to help developing countries in meeting their obligations. The implementation and monitoring of the agreements are highly dependent from the quality and regularity of the available information.

So, the systematic Earth Observation data and information provision by Copernicus helps assist governments and stakeholders in developing strategies and actions to assess, track and attain the goals that are formulated in these different international agreements/conventions like, for example, the Ramsar convention on Wetlands, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to name a few. As for the SDG, Earth Observation is an essential tool helping meet reporting and information gathering obligations.

Against this background, the Copernicus' support to SDGs and International Agreements' Industry Workshop has the following objectives:


  • to display the role of EO data and information in support of the assessment of the progress to achieve the SDGs, to answer to the needs of international conventions/agreements
  • to present specifically the potential contribution of the Copernicus full, free and open data and services' information products;
  • to present and discuss the potential Copernicus service evolution in the context of SDGs and International Agreements.

The workshop will be organised around 4 sessions featuring Climate Change, Marine, Land and Inland Waters and Atmosphere (and their related SDGs and International Agreements).






Date:              Thursday 24/01/2019

Language:      English

Cost:              Free of charge


Venue:         Breydel Auditorium, DG GROW

Address:      Avenue d'Auderghem 45

City:            1000 Brussels





09:00 - 09:30
Registration and welcome coffee
09:30 - 09:35
Welcome and opening



  • Elisabeth Hamdouch, Deputy Head of Unit, Copernicus, DG GROW, European Commission
09:35 - 10:10
Setting the scene: Copernicus EO data and information in support of the SDGs


Moderator: Catharina Bamps, DG GROW, European Commission


  • Mark Dowell, DG JRC/DG GROW, European Commssion


  • Thomas Klein, Swedish Agency for Marine Water Management



10:10 - 11:20
SESSION 1: Climate change

Moderators: Mark Dowell, DG JRC and Bernard Pinty, DG GROW, European Commission


  • Joanna Post, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)


  • Carolin Richter, Global Climate Observing System, World Meteorological Organization (GCOS/WMO)


  • Rene Colditz, DG CLIMA, Europan Commission


  • Jean-Noël Thépaut, Copernicus Climate Change Service, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)


  • Christiana Photiadou, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI)



11:20 - 11:35
Coffee break
11:35 - 12:50
SESSION 2: Marine


Moderators: Mark Dowell, DG JRC and (tbc) DG GROW, European Commission


  • Emma Heslop, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)


  • Zoi Konstantinou, DG MARE, European Commission


  • Karina Von Schuckmann, Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS), Mercator Océan


  • Lorelei Picourt, Ocean and Climate Platform


  • Siegfried Schmuck, SCIAENA



12:50 - 14:00
Lunch break
14:00 - 15:35
SESSION 3: Land and water

Moderators: Mark Dowell, DG JRC and Michel Massart, DG GROW, European Commission


  • Stuart Crane, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)


  • Jorge Rodriguez Romero, DG ENV, European Commission


  • Chris Steenmans, Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS), European Environment Agency (EEA)


  • Greet Maenhout, Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS), DG JRC, European Commission


  • Carsten Brockmann, Brockmann Consult


  • Marc Paganini, European Space Agency



15:35 - 16:00
Coffee break
16:00 - 17:05
SESSION 4: Atmosphere


Moderators: Mark Dowell, DG JRC and Catharina Bamps, DG GROW, European Commission


  • Oksana Tarasova, Global Atmosphere Watch, World Meteorological Organization (GAW/WMO)


  • Zlatko Kregar, DG ENV, European Commission


  • Vincent-Henri Peuch, Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)


  • Aidan Farrow, Greenpeace Science Unit



17:05 - 17:30
Conclusions and recommendations


Workshop venue

European Commission - DG GROW
Address: Avenue d'Auderghem 45, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
View on map


The workshop venue is walking distance (5 minutes) from Schuman metro station. There is a train connection between Schuman and BRU Airport and the journey takes about 35 minutes.
To check timetables and book tickets please click here.

The website provides real-time information and updates about public transport and has a supporting smartphone app.


Contact Information

Copernicus Support Office

Email: support [at] (please indicate "Copernicus for SDGs" in the subject line)