Press Releases

    UNIS/OS/292
    15 October 2004

    United Nations Organizes Workshop on the Use of Space Technology for Disaster Management

    VIENNA, 15 October (UN Information Service) -- The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on behalf of the Government of Germany are jointly organizing a five-day International Workshop on the Use of Space Technology for Disaster Management. Co-sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), and co-organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), the Workshop will be held in Munich, Germany, from 18 to 22 October 2004.

                The Workshop will bring together the results and experience gained from the previous five regional workshops organized by OOSA for Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Western Asia, on the use of space technology for disaster management. The International Workshop will provide an opportunity to build upon the results of each regional workshop, contributing towards defining a global strategy.

    It will also be an opportunity to build upon a number of on-going initiatives, such as the work of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) through its Action Team on Disaster Management, the activities of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative in Europe, the ad hoc Group on Earth Observations, the Geo-hazards initiative of the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) and the results of the Second International Conference on Early Warning (EWC II). In addition, participants will discuss proposals to be forwarded to the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, which will be held in Kobe, Japan, in January 2005.

                The objectives of the Workshop are: (a) to review the information and communication needs of the disaster management community, and the extent to which they are being met or could be met by space technologies; (b) to review the results of the previous five regional workshops, and to discuss a common strategy for all regions to support the use of space technology in disaster management activities; (c) to review on-going and planned initiatives as well as case studies that could contribute to an “Integrated Space-based Global System to Support Disaster Management”; and (d) to discuss a common vision and proposals for such a global system.

    More than 180 decision makers and senior experts from the following countries and organizations are expected to attend the International Workshop: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Senegal, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNESCO, UN/ISDR, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), United Nations University (UNU), European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), ESA 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 and technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at  http://www.oosa.unvienna.org.