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Earth observation for sustainable development (EO4SD) - marine resources

Sentinel-1 SAR image of Tema, Ghana showing sea surface roughness and ships

Completed project

Project start: June 2018  |  Project end: December 2021
Funder: European Space Agency
Principal Investigator: Steve Groom
Other participants from PML: Dr Andrey Kurekin, Dr Elizabeth C. Atwood, Dr Peter Miller, Stefan Simis

The world’s oceans generate goods and services with an estimated value of over $49.7 trillion per annum, equivalent to the world’s seventh largest economy. The success of a sustainable ocean‐based economy, or Blue Economy, and the extent to which it contributes to social development, as well as the health and well‐being of dependent populations, is closely related to the state of the marine environment.

Satellite Earth Observation (EO) data supports understanding of the global environment. The maritime regions, and in particular coastal zones are expensive and challenging to measure and monitor using in situ techniques, and in these regions EO data have particularly vital roles to play. In many cases there are no viable alternatives to access information essential to decision making and management of such zones which are facing increasing anthropogenic pressures. However, the data have to be delivered effectively, as useable, validated and credible information, in the formats and via the channels that users require.

Earth Observation for Sustainable Development (EO4SD) – Marine Resources is part is part of this wider initiative by the European Space Agency (ESA) which is working to support the uptake of EO-derived information for sustainable development. The project involves a number of partners from across Europe who will work with a range of stakeholders to define and implement a large-scale demonstration of how EO-derived information can be used to support sustainable development activities in the marine and coastal environment.


EO4SD – Marine Resources will provide an improved capability for accessing robust evidence-based information to underpin sustainable development and management activities. This capability will help partner countries to build a resilient marine and coastal socioecological system, and support their growing Blue Economies.