First in the Region: Philippines, EU join forces for CopPhil Implementation, strengthens disaster response
Pasay City, Ph-- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) together with the Delegation of European Union (EU) to the Philippines and the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) officially launched the National Copernicus Capacity Support Action Programme for the Philippines (CopPhil).
The two-day event held on 24-25 April 2023 at the Hilton Hotel Manila, featured a line-up of high level national and international speakers from the Philippine Government, academia, industry, and space agencies, as well as representatives from the European public sector and space agencies from Austria, Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany, France and Romania, and from the European Space Agency.
Copernicus, the EU's earth observation flagship programme, provides free environment and climate data derived from a constellation of satellites –the Sentinels- which monitor the earth and its many ecosystems 24-hours daily. This free information aims to help public authorities, businesses, and international organizations mitigate climate change impacts and build a sustainable future for all.
In the Philippines, Copernicus’ satellite images have already helped authorities monitor the situation of remote communities in the aftermath of typhoons such as Odette or accidents like an oil spill to help authorities plan their disaster preparedness and mitigation plans and response.
E. Luc Véron, European Union Ambassador to the Philippines, said that the Copernicus programme for the Philippines is a pioneer initiative in the Asia Pacific and a starting point for a larger programme on Digital Connectivity. The programme will enhance capacities for a stronger and more shock-resilient Filipino economy and society, as well as support reciprocal exchanges between the Philippines and the EU.
“In the long term the European Union is exploring the possibility to create a network of Copernicus partners in the ASEAN region aside from other parts of the world. The uptake of innovative technologies such as Copernicus will trigger growth, jobs and modernization of digital infrastructures that can be used in many sectors in the Philippines”, Ambassador Véron emphasized in his Welcome message.
This 10-million Euro programme, which will run for three (3) years, is in line with DOST’s commitment under the Philippines and EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement which includes cooperation on science and technology, disaster risk management, and climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The Philippines, together with other member states, has agreed with the European Union to increase cooperation on Disaster Risk Management in the continuous development and implementation of measures to reduce the risk to communities, as well as manage the consequences of natural disasters across all levels of society.
“Through the DOST-Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) and DOST-Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), we have been implementing activities as well as further research for ground motion monitoring, flood detection and flood extent mapping. We have also been utilizing Sentinel datasets for landcover mapping, aquaculture monitoring, and even forest and watershed management monitoring around the Philippines,” said DOST Secretary Renato U. Solidum, Jr.
He added that the agency wants to make use of the EU Copernicus observation satellites and ground-based data information systems to support the Philippine government’s capacities for planning and decision-making.
Operationally, many of the facilities and ground infrastructures being used for this programme are still with the Department of Science and Technology. The DOST, as a complement to the existing activities of the PhilSA, is committed to support this initiative as the agency still implements numerous research and development efforts on disaster risk reduction and many other sustainability efforts.
To date, DOST substantially leverages not only on space science and technology, but with other emerging technologies and innovation to update and improve the agency’s unified strategy for disaster and climate risk management that is mainstreamed throughout all levels of the Philippine government.
About CopPhil’s Copernicus
The launch of CopPH was supported by the European Commission's Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument (TAIEX). The Instrument promotes peer-to-peer interactions and technical exchanges between EU Member States’ public administrations and those in partner countries.
Copernicus is a European Union Programme aimed at developing European information services based on satellite Earth Observation and in-situ (non-space) data.
The Programme is coordinated and managed by the European Commission. It is implemented in partnership with the European Union Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), EU Agencies and Mercator Océan.
The Copernicus Services deliver near-real-time data on a global level which can also be used for local and regional needs, to help us better understand our planet and sustainably manage the environment we live in. Copernicus data support countries worldwide in their efforts to comply with the targets set in the Paris Agreement’s Nationally Determined Contributions. For more information, visit https://www.copernicus.eu/en.
For information or questions on Copernicus technologies and the EU-funded National Copernicus Capacity Support Action Programme please contact:
Programme Manager Environment & Climate Change
EU Delegation to the Philippines
Mobile: +63 945 2477927
Team Leader - Copernicus Bridging Phase
Mobile : +63 918 369 8769
Disaster Risk Management Specialist – Copernicus Bridging Phase
Mobile : +63 917 320 7688
Public Affairs Officer
EU Delegation to the Philippines
Mobile: +63 920 9662066
For DOST (Philippines)
NEYZIELLE RONNICQUE CADIZ
Senior Science Research Specialist
DOST- Advanced Science and Technology Institute
Mobile : +63 919 0948 711