CNES/AFD Partnership: Satellite Technologies at the Service of Development Projects

PARIS (CNES PR) — Rémy Rioux, Managing Director of the French Development Agency (AFD) and Philippe Baptiste, Chairman and CEO of CNES, today renewed a partnership agreement to promote AFD’s adoption of satellite technologies for its work. research and development projects.

Sizing energy production infrastructures and access networks, reducing the digital divide, quickly collecting epidemiological data in the field, anticipating the risks of coastal flooding, these are all examples of the challenges that technologies satellites make it possible to take readings in areas that are difficult to access and lack infrastructure and means of in situ observation.

The renewal of this partnership agreement will allow AFD to benefit from the expertise and support of CNES to raise awareness and train its teams in space, collect and analyze needs in order to support the integration of satellite technologies in its projects, one objective pursued by AFD being to eventually have a tool for monitoring and evaluating projects in developing countries.  

Indeed, since 2015, AFD has been striving to increasingly integrate these technologies within its project cycle in order to gain in relevance, efficiency and impact. Thus, these technologies are used in the identification and appraisal phase, to inform public policy dialogues or improve the geographical targeting of projects. They are also used during the implementation in order to carry out a remote monitoring, at a lower cost and more complete; or even during the evaluation phases, by making it possible to better analyze the impact of the project. Several AFD projects have already demonstrated the usefulness of geospatial data, particularly on topics related to forest monitoring (OSFACO project), hydrology in the Congo Basin or understanding erosion phenomena. coast at Saint-Louis in Senegal.

Earth observation satellites today offer a unique means of obtaining geo-spatial data in addition to more traditional means of collection in the field. They provide reliable global coverage, even in hard-to-reach places. Resolutely innovative compared to the practices of international donors, this approach aims to keep AFD at the head of this research, the main objective of which is to improve the effectiveness of its development actions.

CNES, for its part, plays a key role in providing impetus and making proposals on the national, European and international space scene. Its strategy is precisely geared towards the development of the use of space at the service of citizens, society and the State, by providing, thanks to satellite solutions, increasingly effective and numerous responses to the challenges of our society. and sovereign needs. At the international level, its mission is to carry out actions to promote satellite technologies in a co-development approach with its partners. In particular, he launched the “Space Climate Observatory” (SCO) initiative aimed at developing operational projects for local decision-makers based on the modeling of satellite and in situ data.

“I am happy and proud to renew our partnership with the CNES, which constitutes the reference and French excellence on space issues. This partnership confirms AFD’s ambition to provide innovative technologies for its operational activities. Access to CNES data and satellite imagery will thus make it possible to improve the quality of our projects and to more accurately assess their impact, particularly on the protection of our planet.” Rémy Rioux, Managing Director of AFD.

“Space is, more than ever, at the heart of the major challenges of the decade, particularly with regard to climate issues and economic development compatible with sustainable development objectives. The renewal of this partnership with AFD will allow CNES to irrigate an entire ecosystem of actors involved in the field of development aid and to increase the influence of the French space sector internationally. » Philippe Baptiste, President of CNES.

About AFD

The AFD Group contributes to implementing France’s policy on development and international solidarity. Composed of the French Development Agency (AFD), in charge of financing the public sector and NGOs, research and training on sustainable development, its subsidiary Proparco, dedicated to financing the private sector, and Expertise France, a technical cooperation agency, the Group finances, supports and accelerates transitions towards a fairer and more resilient world.

We are building shared solutions with our partners, with and for the populations of the South. Our teams are involved in more than 4,000 projects in the field, in the Overseas Territories, in 115 countries and in territories in crisis, for the common good – climate, biodiversity, peace, gender equality , education or health. We are thus contributing to the commitment of France and the French in favor of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For a world in common.

About CNES

The CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) is the public establishment responsible for proposing French space policy to the Government and implementing it within Europe. It designs and puts satellites into orbit and invents the space systems of tomorrow; it encourages the emergence of new services that are useful on a daily basis. CNES, created in 1961, is at the origin of major space projects, launchers and satellites and is the natural interlocutor of industry to push innovation. CNES has nearly 2,400 employees, women and men passionate about this space which opens up infinite, innovative fields of application and operates in five areas of intervention: Ariane, science, observation, telecommunications, defence. CNES is a major player in technological innovation, economic development and industrial policy in France. It also establishes scientific partnerships and is involved in numerous international cooperations. France, represented by CNES, is one of the main contributors to the European Space Agency (ESA).