NASA signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) today with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The purpose of the MOA is to foster improved global conservation through increased use of NASA Earth science research and remote sensing data.

NASA’s Acting Administrator Fred Gregory and UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura signed the MOA at NASA Headquarters in Washington before an interagency audience of officials and diplomats.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for NASA to broaden the impact of our innovations in remote sensing and Earth system science research,” Gregory said. “Our partnership with UNESCO is one in which we are very proud, especially as it comes on the heels of last month’s Third Global Earth Observation Summit,” he added.

Through this new agreement, UNESCO will use NASA’s remote sensing and Earth science data to share scientific understanding of how our planet works. The MOA calls for the validation of NASA Earth observations through comparisons with ground information.

Under the MOA, the NASA-supported GLOBE education program and UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre will further an existing partnership to train teachers in UNESCO-member states. The teachers will learn to work with UNESCO’s Natural World Heritage Site managers to carry out collaborative conservation program activities.

The GLOBE Program is a NASA-supported cooperative effort of schools to extend the benefits of NASA Earth science research. It is a partnership with NASA, the National Science Foundation, U.S. State Department, colleges, universities, and non-government organizations.

GLOBE is a partnership among the U.S. and more than 100 other countries. The program has reached more than one million primary and secondary students in more than 15,000 schools, and has trained more than 28,000 teachers. GLOBE is managed by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

The MOA expands the long-standing relationship between NASA and UNESCO begun in the early 1960s. Both agencies have played integral roles in development of the 10-year implementation plan to create the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, adopted by 60 countries last month at the Third Global Earth Observation Summit in Brussels, Belgium.

Past collaborations with UNESCO include NASA’s Global Hydrology and Climate Center. It provides integrated scientific understanding of the Earth’s system to enable organizations like UNESCO to make decisions that improve global quality of life.

For more information about UNESCO on the Internet, visit:

For more information about the NASA-supported GLOBE Program on the Internet, visit:

For information about NASA’s Global Hydrology and Climate Center on the Internet, visit: