Sustainability as a key component of COSPAR2022


The 44th COSPAR Scientific Assembly in Athens was completed with delegates and audience enjoying the screening of the emblematic concert "Alpha Mission-ΔEli’s: the [uncertain] four seasons", a Vivaldi concert that took place in the island of Delos, the archaic, timeless birthplace of Artemis and Apollo and the event marked the convergence of humanity, arts and technology with the universe itself. The great message of Delos arrived in Athens with the very purpose of changing the way we think and act on the human induced climate crisis - the ultimate goal of preserving the only home we have. 

COSPAR 2022 incorporated the Sustainability component in various aspects of the meeting, from the scientific program to suppliers’ chain and social program. 

There were several actions, related to the Meeting that highlighted and enhanced Sustainability: 

  • More than 140+ volunteers, students and young scientists from the University of Athens and other academic institutions were part of the team supporting COSPAR 2022, the ultimate event on Space Research. Volunteers had also the opportunity to attend as participants in the educational program.
  • Encouraging Knowledge and Expertise sharing - This action was achieved throughout the entire Meeting Program, however special support or benefits were offered to students, such as the COSPAR 2022 Grants Program.
  • Education for Young Leaders of the Space Community - COSPAR 2022 contributed greatly to the transfer of knowledge to the Next Generation Leadership on the Research for Space and aims in bringing young scientists closer to the Community.
  • Promotion of the City of Athens as a sustainable meetings destination and promotion of local sights and culture. In very close cooperation with the City of Athens and The Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau, a complete program of tours was created and promoted extensively through the meetings’ website, newsletter and SoMe, focusing on the local biodiversity and sights with environmental, social and cultural interest. On this basis, detailed information was provided on the Astronomical facilities of the host city.
  • Digital application and reduction of printings - A dedicated digital app has been created including all relevant information about the meeting program.
  • Encouraging delegates to recycle and contribute to the overall sustainability strategy of the meeting by using the conference app.
  • Hybrid component - COSPAR 2022 was a hybrid event, with emphasis on physical participation. The digital element was fully incorporated in the meeting.
  • Support by the Hellenic Red Cross during COSPAR2022, providing medical services to all delegates and organizing team.
  • Sustainability Actions by all Meeting Suppliers and Partners involved in the organization and execution of the meeting were encouraged. All partners were invited to adapt the strategy and to showcase their sustainability actions. This involved especially AV and Technology Service partners. 
  • Encouraging Early Registration - Encourage early registration and discourage on-site registration.
  • Catering Services - Use of local and organic food products and local recipes and presenting the local cuisine and gastronomy to the delegates.

Various Actions related to the Scientific Program were organized such as: 

  • Promotion of the COSPAR Panel on Planetary Protection prior and during the Meeting Program. 
  • COSPAR organized an important workshop focusing on the issues of “Enriching Scientific Discovery through Inclusiveness, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility – IDEA for Today and Tomorrow”.  Recognized experts who have devoted their careers to advocating for diversity and inclusion shared their perspectives, the critical imperative to cultivate diversity, and the way in which COSPAR can lead these efforts in the global scientific community. As a first step to implementation, COSPAR approved the appointment of the first Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Coordination Officer (ICO), reporting to the President and Bureau in a 4-year term to 2026.
  • Panel on Innovative Solutions. In space sciences, indeed in all of science, the development of innovative technologies opens new fields of research and provides sophisticated new tools for research. The Panel on Innovative Solutions provided a forum, open to all COSPAR Associates, to present, consider and discuss new technologies for and approaches to scientific research.
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