This blog was originally published by Space4Climate. The original publication is available here.

Always keen to promote UK Earth Observation capabilities to contribute to climate action around the world, we were delighted to join a high-level workshop in Somalia this week.

It was hosted by our members, Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (Global Partnership) to launch a new climate action project. They are partnering with the Government of Somalia, to help improve capacity for better and more timely production of data for monitoring agricultural, environmental and climate change indicators required for tracking progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Space4Climate’s Vice Chair Donna Lyndsay joined the online panel speaking live to an influential audience in Mogadishu which included Somalian Government Ministers, national stakeholders, technical and development partners.

The workshop marked the official launch of an exciting new project with huge potential – ‘Use of Earth Observation and Geospatial Capabilities for Strengthening the Timely Monitoring of Environmental SDG Indicators in Somalia’.

Showcasing members’ case studies

By addressing challenges in access to timely, accurate environmental data and gaps in information, the project will support Somalia’s ability to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. There are areas in which Space4Climate members have a strong record of helping developing countries. Donna, Strategic Market Lead – Environment & Sustainability for Ordnance Survey (OS), was able to showcase just a selection of the many examples of members’ work in this area, including OS’s technique developed for mapping informal settlements at speed and scale in Lusaka, Zambia.

The others were:

  • Telespazio’s Rainfall Explorer that uses satellite data to complement flood risk analysis developed with Sistema GmbH, Acclimatise and GMV
  • GMV’s My Sustainable Forest: Earth Observation services for silviculture
  • Co$tingNature – a collaboration between King’s College London, AmbioTEK & UNEP-WCMC
  • GEOGLAM – a G20 initiative to increase food commodity market transparency and to improve food security, developed with Defra, UK Space Agency and the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO), University College London, GEO and CEOS
  • Earth Blox – a commercial cloud-based planetary-scale mapping tool that gives access to the power of Earth Observation (EO), removing the need for coding, high performance computing, extensive local storage and delivering geospatial intelligence., developed with the UN and University of Edinburgh

Influential stakeholder audience

The workshop, held on August 15th 2022, was hosted by project leaders the Somalia National Bureau of Statistics (SNBS), and other key government institutions, with the Global Partnership, which is supported by the Islamic Development Bank Institute and Digital Earth Africa for the project.

Speakers included the Director General of SNBS, Somalia’s United National Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and the Economic Research & Statistics Director of the Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI), to name a few.

Donna said: “It was a huge privilege to speak to such an esteemed audience. Space4Climate’s core aim is a seamless supply chain of climate data from space, which is key to the issues Somalia is facing, such as data gaps and growing capacity in Earth Observation. The case studies from members that I shared highlighted the UK’s expertise and success in delivering climate services to solve some of the greatest challenges faced around the world and especially in vulnerable countries on the front line of climate change.

“They included examples of members who have been involved in knowledge transfer and capacity-building with direct relevance to Earth Observation data to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Somalia’s challenges.”

The aims of the collaborative project are to:

  • Improve availability, timelines, sharing and use of relevant data and information to build environmental statistics for tracking SDG indicators in Somalia
  • Improve knowledge and skills on practical and scalable approaches to apply innovative Earth Observation tools and methods to produce, share and use data for decision-making in the environment sector
  • Strengthen collaboration among government agencies and technical partners in Somalia to increase the uptake and use of Earth Observation and other non-traditional data to build adaptation and mitigation capacities.

Sharing expertise to build capacity

Victor Ohuruogu, Senior Africa Regional Manager for Global Partnership, said after the meeting: “Through this program, the Global Partnership seeks to see increased national capacity for Somalia in sustainably using tested, robust non-traditional data, methods and tools to produce better and more timely data to inform policies and monitor progress towards achieving the SDGs.”

The next steps are to:

  • Convene the National Technical Working Group to plan implementation of the national workplan
  • Implement a series of targeted capacity development and research activities to build national capacity in the use of Earth Observation and geospatial capabilities
  • Hold national workshops to showcase and discuss results with policy-makers

For more information on Space4Climate, UK expertise in climate data from space, climate products and services, and collaboration enquiries, email the Climate Services Development Manager, Krupa Nanda Kumar on and visit our website,

To find out more about the ‘Use of Earth Observation and Geospatial Capabilities for Strengthening the Timely Monitoring of Environmental SDG Indicators in Somalia’ project from Global Partnership, please email the Senior Africa Regional Manager, Victor Ohuruogu, on and visit their website

Cover image credit to Gerd Altmann via Pixabay.