In 1992, a blueprint to rethink economic growth, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection was adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Now, 20 years later, the Rio+20 Summit brought participants from governments, the private sector, non-govermental organisations and other stakeholders once again to Brazil to evaluate the progress being made.
During a side event organised by ESA, the significance of observing Earth from space came into focus, in particular how it improves the assessment and the monitoring of essential climate change, biodiversity and land degradation variables.
Earth-observing satellites allow for efficient, reliable and affordable monitoring of our planet from global to local scales. In many cases, it is the only way to obtain trend information on essential environmental variables.