Press Releases

    UNIS/OS/277
    6 April 2004

    United Nations Organizes Space Technology Workshop in Sudan

    VIENNA, 6 April (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, is organizing a five-day Regional Workshop on the Use of Space Technology for Natural Resources Management, Environmental Monitoring and Disaster Management in Khartoum, Sudan, from 4 to 8 April 2004. The Workshop is being organized in co-operation with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Government of Sudan, and is hosted by the National Centre for Research of Sudan.

    Space technologies play an important role in the area of natural resources management, environmental monitoring and disaster management. In particular, remotely sensed data provides a unique view of the Earth for studies that require synoptic or periodic observations such as inventory, surveying and monitoring in agriculture; hydrography, geology, mineralogy, land cover, land use and environment. Remote sensing is a rapidly growing technology and is one of the important spin-offs of space applications and space science, working side-by-side with other disciplines such as photogrammetry, cartography, geodetic reference systems, global navigation satellite systems and geographic information systems.

    The primary goal of this Regional Workshop is to contribute to the ongoing effort to integrate space technologies into operational programmes in Africa and Western Asia, with a focus on natural resources management, environmental monitoring and disaster management. It is expected that the Workshop will result in the launching of one or more pilot projects into which interested national institutions could incorporate and test the use of space technologies. The pilot projects would be designed and carried out through international cooperation and would be aimed at producing synergy among regional initiatives being conducted by various organizations.

    In order to achieve its goals, the Workshop will comprise presentation sessions that will demonstrate the successful use of space technology in the areas of disaster management, environmental monitoring and natural resources management. In discussion sessions, the workshop participants will form smaller groups to discuss specific topics that could lead to the development of a plan of action and pilot project profiles.

    The Workshop will build upon several on-going initiatives, including the goals addressed in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the work being carried out by the various Action Teams established by the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to implement the recommendations of the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III), as well as the International Charter ‘Space and Major Disasters’, the Africover Project of the Food and Agriculture Organization and ESA’s Tiger Project.

    The Workshop will be attended by experts, decision makers and practitioners from the following countries and international organizations: Algeria, Belgium, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, South Africa, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, World Food Programme, World Health Organization, European Space Agency, Intergovernmental Authority on Development and OOSA.

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    The United Nations Programme on Space Applications is implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and works to improve the use of space science and technology for the economic and social development of all nations, in particular developing countries. Under the Programme, the Office conducts training courses, workshops, seminars and other activities on applications and capacity building in subjects such as remote sensing, communications, satellite meteorology, search and rescue, basic space science, satellite navigation and space law.

    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at http://www.oosa.unvienna.org.