Ocean Space Forum: Inaugural event organised by the Monaco Office for Outer Space Affairs, Prométhée and the CNES
On 4 April, the Monaco Office for Outer Space Affairs, in collaboration with the French National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) and the French company Prométhée, organised the inaugural Ocean Space Forum at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco.
Dedicated to NewSpace, the emerging commercial space industry and its potential benefits for ocean management and conservation, the event brought together various experts and stakeholders from the private and public sectors in Monaco and France (see programme of round tables and list of speakers attached to this document) for a series of round table discussions.
Speaking at the Forum’s opening session, Isabelle Rosabrunetto, Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, reminded the audience of the ecological, security, economic, and strategic importance of the observation of maritime spaces and the Principality’s active commitment to raising international awareness of the issue. She also highlighted the contribution made by “innovative tools to effective environmental intelligence” and the importance of “monitoring ecosystems, promoting conservation actions, anticipating extreme weather events, protecting coastal communities, optimising maritime traffic, and detecting illegal fishing [all of which] are applications made possible by satellite observation data.”
Preserving the oceans, which are a vital source of resources and major vectors for economic trade, and measuring the concrete impacts of climate change, are fundamentally important challenges for the coming decade. With the advent of embedded artificial intelligence and observation made possible by space technology, ocean monitoring indicators are becoming increasingly useful and opening up possibilities for improved responses. All of these subjects were discussed at the forum, where NewSpace was suggested as a response to the challenges identified.
“Increasingly accurate data from existing satellite constellations are already a gold mine for promoting greater awareness about the impact of human society on our planet’s fragile ecosystem. It’s called the blue planet because 70% of its surface is covered by seas and oceans - hence the importance of preserving it to guarantee the existence of future generations,” explained Christophe Pierre, Director of the Monaco Office for Outer Space Affairs. “While developing a space programme is not a priority for us, the creation of strategic partnerships focused on space technology’s potential benefits for many fields, very much is. My Office, alongside its partners the CNES and Prométhée, wants to build bridges between scientific communities, working towards the Sustainable Development Goals, and space observation specialists, and even promote constructive and extended exchanges for one shared goal: life on Earth.”