European Commission signs Earth observation cooperation arrangements with Colombia, Chile and Brazil

The European Commission has signed Cooperation Arrangement with Colombia, Chile and Brazil. Under the arrangements, the three countries will gain access to the wide range of applications of the Copernicus Earth observation programme and data provided by the European Sentinel satellites using connections between data centres.

With the arrangements, the European Commission aims to grant access to the three Latin American countries to data provided by Sentinel satellites. All three cooperation arrangements include reciprocity clauses that benefit the parties. As for Brazil, this reciprocity clause will allow the Copernicus programme full, free and open access to Brazilian Earth observation data. Also, the partner countries will facilitate access to in-situ data from their regional observation networks, including geophysical and meteorological networks. Such information will support Copernicus data architecture and the development of global products.

It is expected that these cooperation arrangements will encourage the continuous development of an active sector in the European Union and the three partner countries, as well as to promote collective product development. Additionally, they seek to facilitate the private sector’s commitment to product and service development, for instance by supporting policy development and supporting inventories of relevant private sector companies.

Brazil, Colombia and Chile will provide technical support to the Copernicus program for calibration and evaluation of Sentinel satellite data for Latin America, and for a collaborative development of new applications. Both parties support free, full and open access to Sentinel satellite data and information for end-users. Each party will fund its own activities and will be subject to the principle of “no exchange of funds”.

The cooperation arrangements were signed on 8 March by Philippe Brunet, Director for Space Policy, Copernicus and Defence, on behalf of the European Commission, and by the Undersecretary of Telecommunications (for the Republic of Chile), the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Sciences - IDEAM (for the Republic of Colombia) and the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication (for the Federal Republic of Brazil).

Copernicus is a European Union programme, coordinated and managed by the European Commission. The programme provides operational data and information services free of charge for several application areas thanks to a wide variety of technologies, ranging from satellites in space to measurement systems on land, sea and air.