The ESA-UNESCO Open Initiative and the International Astronuatical Congress (IAC)
The ESA-UNESCO Open Initiative was first launched in consultation with all space agencies during the Toulouse International Astronautical Congress in October 2000.
Since then, with the support of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), UNESCO has obtained a preponderant role at the IAF meetings. Several times UNESCO presented technical papers on the use of space technologies for natural and cultural heritage:
- At IAC-Fukuoka, (October 2006), UNESCO was selected to give a highlight lecture in front of over 4,000 space specialists.
- At IAC- Valencia, (October 2007), UNESCO, in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the National Commission for Space Affairs of Aregentina (CONAE), organized a satellite live transmission of the visit of school children to the World Heritage site of Iguazu, transmitted directly to school children present at IAC Valencia. Both schools observed how space technologies can assess the state of conservation of Iguazu.
- At IAC-Daejon (October 2010) The German Aerospace center (DLR) had a highlight lecture on how DLR is assisting UNESCO with space technologies to monitor World Heritage sites.
- At IAC Cape Town (October 2011) UNESCO was invited to give a highlight lecture to the general public on how the space agencies are assisting UNESCO in monitoring, documenting World Heritage sites with space technologies.
In March 2012 UNESCO organized, jointly with IAF a meeting of Deans of space universities. This was the very first time that such a large number of space universities come to UNESCO. As a result a series of joint activities were identified.
For the International Astronautical Congress (AIC) Naples 2012, UNESCO will have a half day seminar during the UN-IAF workshop on the use of space technologies for heritage sites.