Friday, 19 April 2024

Can you explain to Us what your job is Within this interesting Forum?

The Paris Peace Forum is an initiative launched in 2018 to create a multi-stakeholder platform in Paris to address global governance issues. Throughout the year, the Forum works to strengthen the governance of common goods, such as space, cyberspace, or the oceans, and to improve the international management of global issues, development of AI and disruptive technologies or ecological and social transition of the economy.
Its annual event brings together heads of state and government, heads of international organizations, civil society leaders and private sector executives around concrete initiatives that give a large place to the global South. Within its Policy Department, I’m heading the outer space, digital and economic workstreams which especially include two flagship initiatives: the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace on securing the free, open and stable Internet, and the Net Zero Space initiative on space sustainability.
In 2023, 60 proposals Will be selected that may be presented to the international community during the sixth edition of the Paris forum on peace in November in Paris. What can you tell us and add about It? How many could have to Do with the space sector?
History has proven that international cooperation is key to overcoming global challenges and ensuring lasting peace. Since 2018, the Paris Peace Forum serves as a platform bringing together all stakeholders around the world, mobilized to foster innovative multi-actor solutions to the common challenges we fase through its annual Call for Solutions which has gathered over 460 projects from around the World so far.
The 2023 Call for Solutions consists of 10 themes, including outer space governance through the theme “Promoting fair access to outer space for the Global South to accelerate SDGs and growth”
The 2023 Call for Solutions consists of 10 themes, including outer space governance through the theme “Promoting fair access to outer space for the Global South to accelerate SDGs and growth”. We are very pleased with the quantity and quality of the nominations relating to outer space.
Now an independent selection committee is in the process of reviewing them to choose the 50 projects that will come in person to the November event. The idea is to always have a balance in terms of the number of projects for each of the 10 sub-themes, always respecting a minimum of three. Stay tuned, the selected projects shall be announced very soon!
Basura Espacial
In other years, Have proposals been received to achieve a sustainable use of outer space between now and 2030?
In the last two editions of the Forum, 7 projects working on practical solutions to achieve a sustainable use of outer space have participated in person in our annual event: 2 academic institutions and 5 private sector actors.
Out of these, two came from Japan (The University of Tokyo, Astroscale), two from the US (CisLunar Industries, the University of Colorado Boulder), one from France (Share My Space), one from Germany (Orbit Recycling), and one from India (Digantara). The approaches presented by these solutions have ranged from the point of view of promoting regulation and norms of good behavior, to in-orbit recycling and reuse of debris, to pioneering solutions on Active Debris Removal and Space Situational Awareness.
What activities or measures are carried out throughout the year to mitigate the generation of new orbital debris and remedy existing ones?
The Forum’s DNA is political; hence we approach this issue from the policy side. The main goal of the Net Zero Space Initiative is to raise better political awareness on the emergency on the Space debris emercy and offer a platform to draw consensual normative and operational solutions to address it.
In the framework of the Net Zero Space Initiative, two working groups have for instance gathered actors from across the Space value chain and all over the World in 2022 to design Policy proposal to increase the interoperability of National regulations as well as to discuss further harmonization concerning the apprehension of risks of collision in orbit.
In 2023, stakeholders are focusing on the notion of carrying capacity on the one hand, and on the other hand on the governance of inand on-orbit activities.
Is there a great concern for space debris and to be able to achieve the sustainability of the sector?
Although there are still many differences in the manner different actors approach this issue, there is indeed a clear international concern about the increase of space debris and the need to urgently tackle it.
Now is the time to join forces to harmonize the way we approach space sustainability for the whole sector, and to design efficient innovative governance frameworks to ensure our orbital environment remains usable for the benefit of all.
What can the industry do to raise awareness at the political level and in the general public to better protect the earth’s orbital environment?
First of all, join the 'Net Zero Space' initiative! Beyond that, it is important for the industry to understand that they are players in a market that is international in nature, and therefore, that international dialogue (or lack thereof) has a direct impact on their business and their ability to offer essential services to the entire world.
The net zero space initiative is an informal coalition of actors committed to guaranteeing space sustainability. What can you tell us about it and how it is developing?

The rationale to launch the Net Zero Space Initiative was that better political awareness and then, mobilization was needed to get to sustainable use of outer space. The Space sector is indeed confronted to a bizarre deadlock: while there is a strong, international consensus on the emergency to tackle Space debris at a technical level, things appear to move very slowly. 

That’s partly because we lack proper political leadership, which is a key element in clarifying common goals and targets as well as to increase incentive to behave properly.
Imagen de la constelación STARLINK
The evolution of environmental awareness on Earth is a good comparison point for this. While offering a platform to develop action-oriented policy proposals to move the debate further, the Initiative is first and foremost focusing on mainstreaming space environmentalism to policymakers and the public at large.
If we were to compare today’s state of space governance to a historical period, it would not so much be the “Wild West”, but rather the Holy Roman Empire”
Should we increase international cooperation by joining the forces of the private sector, as well as the authorities and regulators?
Indeed we should. When we hear about space governance, it’s often said that outer space is the new “Wild West”. I beg to differ.
Indeed we should. When we hear about space governance, it’s often said that outer space is the new “Wild West”. I beg to differ. Should we compare the state of today’s space governance with a historic period, it would be less the Wild West that the Holy Roman Empire: an eclectic collection of normative framework of different values, supposingly coordinated by an overhanging authority (the 1967 treaty).
The priority for today’s space governance is indeed increasing the interoperability of national frameworks and well as better coordinating existing legal sources with industry good practices and other non-binding guidelines. This can only be done in a multistakeholder format, in which all sort of actors, whether from Government, the Industry, but also civil society and academia, contribute from their own perspective.
What can we do to help in that call so that they join us to contribute to the “Net Zero Goal of the Space”?
All actors have a role to play in raising better awareness about the importance of protecting Earth’s orbital environment. And not only actors directly involved in the construction, launch, or operation of space systems: users should also position themselves in this important debate.
Either tech companies, universities, but also financial institutions, GPS enabled products and more: we are all daily space users, even though we might not always be self-aware.
STARLINK, Together with other constellations, represent a great challenge to achieve these objectives. Is there any proposal or initiative that can help in this complex situation?
Large constellations are indeed a game changer. While there is also an asset in the deliverance of critical services, both for populations and government, they represent a change of scale in terms of active objects in orbits.
De hecho, hacen que sea ineludible tener una urgente discusión respecto a estándares mínimos de coordinación de tráfico espacial e intercambio de datos, entre otros temas particularmente sensibles. Antes de que surja un tratado internacional, muchas iniciativas están abordando el impacto medioambiental de tales programas y misiones.
The EPFL lead Space Sustainability Rating is for instance offering companies and institutions a possibility to rate their missions according to their level of sustainability.
Are there interesting applications for traffic management to avoid collisions and develop innovative technologies that help to achieve this end?
Innovation is an important part of the path towards space sustainability. Automated collision avoidance systems, relying on advanced AI technologies, are a good example of innovation helping solve this issue. But technological advancement doesn’t suppress the governance element of the answer: AI systems are probabilistic algorithm that relies on large sets of data.
Which not only means that you need to have data, and in this case SSA data – it also means that you need to share data between actors, train your AI systems on similar sets of data, and ensure minimum standards for algorithms to ensure their interoperability.
Innovative technologies are important but will only be key coupled to innovative governance.
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