Copernicus Central America Initiative: Jump-starting the Copernicus Programme in Central America

With a particular focus on the development of local capabilities, the Copernicus Central America Initiative strengthens regional expert networks, provides rich training opportunities in Spanish, and supports applications of Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme, in Central America. In collaboration with the Central American Integration System (SICA), the regional inter-governmental organisation that promotes collaboration across many policy areas, this content created as a part of the initiative is developed specially for Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

Based on an initial study that evaluated the readiness, development and possible applications of Copernicus in Central America, the training programme of this initiative supports and promotes sustainable development and entrepreneurship based on the free and open data of the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme. The webinars, workshops and hackathons have been designed to jump-start the use and application of Copernicus data and information services in the region, as well as strengthen the regional academic and innovation network as part of the Copernicus Academy and support the integration of related initiatives such as BELLA-T.

Some of the most innovative applications of the Copernicus Programme have yet to be implemented and the specificities of the Central American region can lead to groundbreaking results. From emergency management and disaster risk reduction, through sustainable management of agriculture, forests and water, to coastal and marine management, the monitoring of deforestation and air quality — Copernicus has a bright future in Central America.

The initiative is part of the project Promoting Copernicus Earth Observation applications in Central America, which Novaspace is implementing with the AETS Consortium on behalf of the European Commission. The Copernicus Central America Initiative will form the basis of a lasting Copernicus educational programme, available in Spanish and supporting global cooperation and collaboration in the field of Earth observation.

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