In support of The White House Climate Action Plan, Esri is donating its best-of-breed GIS technology and counsel to help developing countries visualize, understand and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Esri joins The White House and six other institutions in contributing $31 million worth of tools and training to boost climate resilience in Colombia, Ethiopia, and Bangladesh.

“Climate change is a global issue that brings together government, utilities, non-governmental organizations, sophisticated cities, and developing countries”

Led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Public-Private Partnership on Climate Services for Resilient Development launched June 9 with an executive meeting at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, DC.

“Climate change is a global issue that brings together government, utilities, non-governmental organizations, sophisticated cities, and developing countries,” says Esri president Jack Dangermond. “There is no single entity that can help developing countries plan for and adapt to climate change. But by uniting our resources, experience, and unique capabilities, this partnership can make a difference.”

As part of the company’s contribution, Esri will donate access to its online mapping and analysis collaboration platform, ArcGIS Online, to recipient nations. The platform, which is used by more than 350,000 organizations worldwide, provides access to foundational open datasets on topics such as elevation, ecological land units, and climate information. Patricia Cummens, government strategist at Esri, attended the partnership kickoff and demonstrated practical applications of Esri’s GIS technology.

“Climate change adds another challenge to developing countries that are already struggling with issues like poverty and conflict,” Cummens says. “Esri is committed to helping these nations achieve sustainability by equipping them with the power of GIS to make data actionable.”

Countries can use ArcGIS Online to publish, share, and mash up data to help leaders make informed decisions, according to Cummens. For example, city planners can map which areas will be impacted when sea levels rise and plan accordingly. Farmers can explore mapping applications and swipe tools to compare climate models from two different years, evaluate anticipated rainfall, and plan which crops to plant.

Esri has established a collaborative resource portal on ArcGIS Online for Ethiopia and plans to do the same with Colombia and Bangladesh. Moving forward, Esri will assist with configuring and loading local data resources and launch each country’s ArcGIS Online portals. Esri will also conduct in-country briefing workshops with stakeholders and provide replicable climate information templates and tools, documented geospatial best practices, and methodology for conducting capabilities assessments.

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. A market leader in GIS technology, Esri software is used in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the U.S., most national governments, more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of Web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world's mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is a rare vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server and Internet platforms.