Introduction / Background

By admin_wla | Tue, 26 May 2009 - 16:59
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its UN-SPIDER Programme (United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response) together with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are organising the above mentioned workshop to promote the access and use of space-based technologies and solutions for disaster management and emergency response within relevant communities. In its resolution 61/110 of 14 December 2006 the United Nations General Assembly agreed to establish the “United Nations Platform for Spacebased Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response – UN-SPIDER”, as a programme of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, to provide universal access to all countries and all relevant international and regional organizations to all types of space-based information and services relevant to disaster management. As part of the UN-SPIDER outreach activities, four workshops are being organized in 2009 to raise awareness within the user community of the benefits of using space-based information and solutions, to assess its needs and to contribute to specific activities of the programme. Specifically, this Third International Workshop in Bonn will provide an opportunity to bring together decision-makers and experts from both the space technology and disaster management communities, international scientific organizations, knowledge transfer and educational institutions, as well as internationally active private companies, with the intention of sharing their best practices and to bring their knowledge, products and technologies for risk and disaster management, humanitarian aid and emergency response. The first and the second workshop held in Bonn were organized jointly with DLR and with the support of the Government of Germany. The workshop in 2007 brought together 90 participants from 39 countries, and in 2008 120 participants from 38 countries attended. The programme of the first workshop was centred on the activities assigned to the UN-SPIDER Bonn office. It included plenary sessions, during which 11 presentations were given, and discussion sessions, in which participants were divided into four working groups. One of the main goals of the second workshop in 2008 was to link both the space community and the disaster management community, and to provide results in terms of a way forward regarding the setup of an integrative information and communication platform. In order to reach this goal the workshop was divided into four thematic sessions as following: 1. Space technology in support of risk and disaster management, 2. Vulnerability and Risk Assessment, 3. Contribution of space-based technologies to existing and proposed Early Warning Systems, 4. Disaster Medicine, Telemedicine and Integrated Vector Management (IVM). Altogether 29 expert presentations reflected on the state-of-the-art knowledge related to the broad range of topics of this workshop. More information on the outcome of the workshops and the presentations made during the workshops are available at