A collaboration arrangement was today signed between Reuters Foundation
Director, Maureen Marlowe, and ESA’s Director of Earth Observation
Programmes, Josè Achache, at Reuters Corporate headquarters in London.

Under this arrangement the European Space Agency will assist Reuters
Foundation and its AlertNet service in providing information and imagery
from ESA Earth observation missions and promoting the use of satellite
remote-sensing data by the international humanitarian aid community. More
specifically, ESA will provide access to information from its satellite
data archives and from the current ERS-2 and Envisat missions.

ESA will also involve Reuters Foundation in the user consultation
processes it is conducting for the purpose of identifying the satellite
data requirements of humanitarian aid organisations, as a contribution to
the definition of the European GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and
Security) programme.

A dedicated “satellite image” web page will be developed on Reuters
Foundation’s AlertNet site, with images provided by ESA, setting out a
number of case studies and a guide to Earth observation.

On signing the arrangement, Josè Achache, stated : “Today we have taken a
major step forward in raising awareness among humanitarian aid
organisations of the contributions satellite data can make in support of
their missions. This will also help clarify their specific requirements
so that they can be incorporated into the European GMES programme”.

Maureen Marlowe said: “AlertNet’s service to its member organisations will
be significantly improved. The pictures and graphics from space will not
only show terrain clearly, but enable our member agencies to track the
movements of displaced people and monitor the impact of natural disasters
such as floods and earthquakes more accurately and quickly”

Reuters Foundation, created in 1982, is a humanitarian and educational
trust, primarily funded by Reuters, the global news, information and
technology group. The Foundation focuses on areas where Reuters skills
and expertise in information gathering, technology and communications can
be put to use in ways which will benefit the communities in which Reuters
works worldwide.

Reuters Foundation AlertNet service (www.alertnet.org) was launched in
1997 to provide fast news and communications for international disaster
relief. Membership of the service currently includes more than 175 aid
agencies from 35 countries. AlertNet acts as a platform for vital
communication and information sharing within the humanitarian aid
community worldwide.

For further information, please contact:

ESA Media Relations Office

Tel.: + 33(0)

Fax: + 33(0)1).

Website: www.esa.int

Reuters Foundation

Charlotte Poskitt (Marketing Executive)

Tel.: + 44 171 542 7398

Fax: + 44 171 542 8599

E-mail: charlotte.poskitt@reuters.com

Website: www.foundation.reuters.com