Now in its 10th year, the APRS is being held from Monday 4 to Thursday 7 April in New Delhi. A leading space remote-sensing event in Asia-Pacific, it is this year focusing on climate issues, looking at new initiatives and international partnership efforts.
CNES President Jean-Yves Le Gall took part in the plenary session alongside ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, JAXA Vice President Shizuo Yamamoto, CNSA Vice Administrator Wu Yanhua and Eumetsat Director General Alain Ratier. He began by thanking heads of agencies present for the consensus reached on Sunday 3 April on the New Delhi Declaration, confirming the commitments made by space agencies at last December’s COP 21 in Paris. He then delivered a speech sketching out the challenges posed by climate change—which is already affecting certain populations and will impact all of humankind in the short and medium terms—for which space solutions are today proving a unique aid, underlining the importance of space-based remote sensing and the need to establish continuous global monitoring. He then explained that France has made climate research a national priority, citing the missions it is pursuing in this field with Europe and its partners, like for example MERLIN with Germany and CFOSat with China. Lastly, he hailed the 15-year collaboration with India on climate monitoring, for which two flagship satellites—Megha-Tropiques, launched in 2011, and SARAL-AltiKa, launched in 2013—are delivering a wealth of data for the scientific community, notably on the water cycle.
Jean-Yves Le Gall concluded: “Today is a special day and I wanted to say how pleased I am to be here with you and to have been involved last night in what I believe will go down on record as a historic milestone in our efforts to tackle climate change with the New Delhi Declaration. I would also like to congratulate the Symposium organizers for the quality of the presentations, topics and speakers here, and to have focused attention at this year’s event on climate issues. The challenges we face and the emulation generated by this collaboration without borders make for motivating and exciting times.”