Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I wish to welcome you to Sweden and Stockholm.
You have come from many different parts of the world, and you are all, more or less, engaged in the work with spacecraft missions.
The work you do is important and vital for our daily lives in terms of communication, navigation and infrastructure. Satellites are also essential tools in climate and environment research.
I have noticed that one key factor for success is the availability of accurate information. I am convinced that data from earth observation is crucial in the work for many environmental organizations. Satellite data is necessary for scientists to understand climate changes. However, such data collection would only be an academic exercise, if the information was not widely shared with the public in an understandable way. Not only scientists, governments or technical experts, but everyone with an interest in the globe should have access to the information. This data affects us all.
In recent years, we have seen extreme geophysical and weather-related incidents. Many regions of the world are struggling with the consequences of earthquakes, flash floods and widespread flooding. Also heat waves and dry spells leave people in extreme distress. Knowledge, observations, information and technical know-how can mitigate the effects of such catastrophes.
Data from satellites inform when risks have been reduced and when the taken actions have had effect, resulting in a cleaner and healthier world. Today we see rivers and waters improving when actions are taken, but we still have a lot more to learn and to do. Satellite data continue to show how much we have accomplished and how much more is needed. Without data, we would not be able to measure our challenges or our progress.
Good information is necessary to make good decisions. Without relevant data, our hands would be tied. People with access to information will support the sometimes inconvenient, expensive and controversial actions that must be taken to protect the environment. People will not make sacrifices in their own lives, or insist that businesses and governments change, unless they know why.
So finally, I would like to thank you all for attending this conference and for sharing your vision and knowledge with us. I wish you good luck in your duties and look forward learning more about your activities in the exhibition.