Officials from the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA), the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and the European Union (EU) launched today (24 April 2023) the Copernicus Capacity Support Action Programme for the Philippines (CopPhil) worth approximately Php 610 million or €10 million.

The first space cooperation programme in the region, this new initiative will help Philippine authorities develop national systems to make use of EU’s earth observation’s satellites data in the country’s disaster mitigation and climate change adaptation and food security strategies.

The EU's earth observation flagship programme, Copernicus 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 organisations mitigate climate change impacts and build a sustainable future for all. 

Data from Sentinel-1, -2, and –5p, can be used in applications in flood, oil spill, ship, and volcanic emission monitoring; mapping of canopy height, crops, land cover, and air and water quality. For example, PhilSA has provided Copernicus Sentinel data to the Department of Agriculture on road network monitoring, movement of goods, and other data sets for land cover and hazard mapping, ship detection, topography changes, etc. 

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 plans and mitigation programmes.

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.

The Programme is coordinated and is managed by the European Commission.

It is implemented in partnership with the European Union Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organization 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.