16 February 2012. In the course of this year’s UNCOPUOS spring session of the Scientific Technical Subcommittee, ESPI and FFG dedicated an evening to the thematic issue of space observation and land use.
On this evening in ESPI fantastic satellite pictures were presented by Markus Eisl of eoVision to a large numbers of guests, i.a. delegates from UNCOPUOS. These images were on one hand aesthetic eye catchers but also thought-provoking. They induced us to think and to question how we use and allocate resources of this very finite world.
As ESPI Director Peter Hulsroj mentioned in his opening remarks these images show not just the beauty of planet Earth but also where the limits of resources, land use and space for seven billion people are. The world is becoming more and more inter-connected and hence many relativities are becoming more and more difficult to manage. As the title of the book indicates, it shows where men left “footprints”, where land is being exploited and nature pushed back.
Prof. Winfried Blum from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, shed light on the scientific background of this thematic issue. In his remarkable keynote speech he explained the demands, the targets, the cause – effect relationships and the highly developed expertise in the field of land use. He ended his keynote with an appeal to stakeholders, decision makers and opinion leaders to communicate clearly on these issues and to keep always in mind that many human uses of land are irreversible and hence of concern when so many humans occupy this earth.
The look at earth from space makes us understand that we are deep into a planetary Age of Humans, defined by our own massive impact. The Human Footprint was never larger!
This evening was organised and coordinated by Michaela Gitsch (FFG) and Blandina Baranes (ESPI).
From left: Harald Posch (FFG), Peter Hulsroj (ESPI), Blandina Baranes (ESPI), Prof. Winfried Blum (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna), Michaela Gitsch (FFG) and Markus Eisl (eoVision)