The BELLA Programme uses cookies to deliver the best possible web experience.

By continuing to use this site, you agree that we may store and access cookies on your device. Please ensure you have read the Cookies Policy. Learn more

I understand
Costa Rica is progressing in implementing the Copernicus Academy with RedCLARA's support

Costa Rica is progressing in implementing the Copernicus Academy with RedCLARA's support

The potential of the European Union's Copernicus Earth Observation programme to benefit Costa Rica in areas such as agriculture and natural disaster prevention, and the importance of developing capacities to maximize the benefits, were the main conclusions of the "Application and Processing of Copernicus Data" workshop held on April 11th at the National Center for High Technology of Costa Rica.

The meeting, organized by RedCLARA within the framework of the BELLA II project, alongside with Costa Rica's National Research and Education Network (NREN) RedCONARE, the University of Costa Rica (UCR), and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), brought together representatives from academia, government, and the private sector. It marks the first steps of the Copernicus Academy in Costa Rica. This academy, a regional network driven by RedCLARA and Latin American NRENs, will improve capacity development and knowledge management in the field of Earth observation and foster collaboration among different stakeholders in the digital ecosystem.

“The workshop was an excellent practical exercise with over 40 participants, demonstrating how the tools of the Copernicus programme can be used. It underline the strength of the European Earth Observation programme in identifying agricultural projects and disaster prevention. Copernicus is a central element in BELLA II's strategy to develop a digital ecosystem in the region, and Costa Rica is on its way to becoming a great success story in the use this tool,” said Laura Castellana, RedCLARA's Academic Projects coordinator.

Castellana points out that there are significant challenges to making full use of Copernicus data and images in the country, including the lack of qualified personnel and the necessary infrastructure.“Many of the participating institutions noted that the main need now is capacity development, meaning training to equip more individuals with skills for Copernicus tools. At the university level, we believe the workshop conclusions will lead to the creation of more formal training programmes, integrating Copernicus-related topics into undergraduate and graduate curricula. In addition, within BELLA II, we want to stregthen infrastructure, as the use and processing satellite data and images requires significant capacity," Castellana pointed out.

The day before the workshop, on April 10th, a meeting was held to launch Costa Rica's National Committee for the Copernicus Academy. Led by RedCONARE, the committee aims to bring together government and academic institutions. Representatives from the Costa Rica Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), the European Union Delegation, IICA, and  several universities participated. According to Carlos Gamboa, Executive Director of RedCONARE, all stakeholders from the meeting and workshop will be invited to continue collaborating. “With everyone's commitment, we will formulate a strategy and share responsibilities to officially launch the Committee, which will be responsible for organizing new large-scale training initiatives and defining the Academy's operational plan in our country”, Gamboa explained.

All these efforts will not only benefit the country, but also lay the foundations  for further progress in the region. “Costa Rica is a reference point in Central America, fostering many partnerships across the region. The next country where the academy will be set  is Guatemala. At the same time, we are expanding the strategy to support other countries in the region that are of interest to BELLA II, RedCLARA, and Copernicus, where we currently lack a network and would like to establish one,” concluded Castellana.

About the Copernicus Academy in Costa Rica

RedCONARE and RedCLARA are leading the development of the Copernicus Academy in Costa Rica with the aim of enhancing the country's capacity development and knowledge management in Earth observation thematic areas to enable the adoption of Copernicus data in new sectors and thus reduce the gap between competencies and data usage in the country. It also aims to raise awareness of the features of the Copernicus Programme and its benefits at the national level for addressing or mitigating the effects of climate change, fires, disasters, etc.

Copernicus is the European Union´s Earth Observation Programme, that studies  our planet and its environment for the maximum benefit of all citizens. It provides information services based on satellite Earth observation data and in-situ data. For these reasons, it is considered a key element for the creation and consolidation of the digital ecosystem that BELLA II will built in the region, understood not only as connectivity, but as the set of technical components and actors that, interacting with that platform, will be able to generate value and produce relevant results and solutions for the entire region. Copernicus and BELLA II are two of the four pillars of the EU-LAC Digital Alliance.

For more information on the Copernicus programme, please visit:

To learn more about the BELLA II Project and the digital ecosystem it proposes for the region, please visit:


BELLA II receives funding from the European Union through the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), under agreement number 438-964 with DG-INTPA, signed in December 2022. The implementation period of BELLA II is 48 months.


For more information about BELLA II please contact:

© Copyright 2017 . All Rights Reserved