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IRD, CIRAD and CNES have joined forces to run Theia Regional Coordination Network (ART) devoted to Earth observation applications in the global south.

ART’s mission is to publicise, expand and facilitate the uses of Earth observation based on collaborative projects with institutions in the global south and French Overseas Territories. The main objective is to capitalise on and disseminate as widely as possible the skills, techniques and tools needed for understanding, monitoring and managing the regions.

ART consists of a coordination network designed for this purpose, known as the GeoDEV Network, made up of partner skills centres. It is open to all institutions working on French and international initiatives that use Earth observation applications for promoting knowledge and development in the global south: not just communication and expertise but also publicising events, raising the profile of project activities and jointly designing scientific or institutional cooperation programmes or actions between partners and network members.

GeoDEV’s goal is to help institutional actors become proficient in space-based observation by implementing promotional actions and cooperation projects. The ultimate aim is to improve their understanding of – and response to – the major challenges involved in monitoring the environment and regions in the inter-tropical belt. These issues are as follows: sustainable development objectives; the impact of global change; understanding the natural and anthropogenic dynamics affecting natural resources; environment and health; renewable energy; and urban development.



Providing training and information; building skills and capacities; disseminating knowledge in priority application areas; expressing needs; and designing solutions.


Sharing data; transferring and capitalising on tools; contributing to satellite information processing services tailored to the global south; and stimulating global north / south, global south / north and global south / south exchanges.


Co-developing or adapting applications and thematic products as part of scientific and institutional cooperation projects between skills centres.

Activities led or supported by ART GeoDEV members in the context of global south cooperation

ART’s activities have begun in the three different areas: facilitating information seminars; organising study and design projects; and creating links between service or data infrastructures keen on working in the global south.

GeoDEV seminars are an opportunity to educate, collect information about needs, share experiences and initiate partnerships and joint projects. The initial seminars have a variety of aims, themes and formats depending on the country and context.

The activities organised by ART are based on projects and work led by its members, the goal being to promote them among other communities that use space information about the tropical belt. By educating network actors and mobilising them using collaboratives tools and joint projects, ART aims to help circulate thematic products of interest; qualify processing chain prototypes; use application chains; and disseminate skills and capacities.

  • Project feasibility studies;
  • Capacity and requirement surveys; inventory of resources and skills;
  • Training sessions; participation in university modules / courses;
  • Projects for transferring tools, data platforms and services;
  • Thematic application projects as part of research programmes;
  • Facilitating seminars, workshops and conferences.



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