The 30th International Symposium on Remote Sensing, which takes place in a different European city each year, was held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, from 31 May to 3 June 2010. Together, UNESCO and the European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSeL) designed a Symposium programme based on the core areas of UNESCO's work: Science, Education and Natural and Cultural Heritage.
The high level of participation in the symposium was unprecedented, as over 200 participants were registered, coming from Africa, Central Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Russian Federation, and the United States, among others. Representatives from international and national space agencies (ESA, CNES, NASA, etc.), the private sector (SPOT Image, Infoterra GmbH) and academia participated in keynote sessions, knowledge exchanges and parallel sessions focusing on a variety of topics such as education, climate change, archaeology, oceans and coastal zones, hydrology, and new instruments and methods. The symposium was attended by a record number of young students and professionals. Additionally, an interactive poster session was held, counting with more than 40 posters on different remote sensing projects.
During the symposium, the government of Gabon expressed its interest in joining the UNESCO - ESA Open Initiative on the use of space technologies to support the World Heritage Convention. This intention should be formalized in the next weeks through the signature of a letter of agreement.