Press Releases

    UNIS/OS/312
    5 July 2005

    United Nations Provides Landsat Data Sets for Supporting Sustainable Development in Africa

              VIENNA, 5 July (UN Information Service) -- A three-day workshop on “Landsat data sets for supporting sustainable development in Africa”, will be held at the United Nations-affiliated African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology in French Language (CRASTE-LF), in Rabat, Morocco, from 7 to 9 July. Workshop participants will receive training in how to use these particular sets of satellite images.

    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, is providing African institutions free of charge with Global Landsat data sets donated by the Government of the United States of America. These sets of satellite images represent critical information about the global environment and its regional variations, and can directly support activities in the area of natural resources management, environmental monitoring, disaster management and other areas of sustainable development, such as agriculture and forestry.

    CRASTE-LF has been selected to act as a focal point for the distribution of the data sets to African institutions, which in turn will use them to develop projects and/or make them available to other national institutions. To enable the storage, access and the use of the Landsat imagery, OOSA has set up a workstation at CRASTE-LF with the donated Landsat data.

    The three-day workshop will involve students of CRASTE-LF attending nine-month postgraduate courses in satellite communications and in satellite meteorology and global climate, as well as experts from African institutions. Participants of the workshop will learn how to access the Landsat data and also how to carry out specific image analysis. Participants who submit a specific project proposal will receive sub-sets of the data covering their area of interest.

    A further workshop focusing on the use and application of space technologies, in particular remotely sensed data, to support activities in sustainable development, will be organized by the European Space Agency and held at CRASTE-LF from 14 to 16 November 2005. That workshop will be attended by CRASTE-LF students from a postgraduate course in remote sensing and geographic information systems, as well as experts from various African countries.

    More than 30 participants from the following countries and international institutions are expected to attend the July workshop: Algeria, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Togo, Tunisia, CRASTE-LF 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.unoosa.org/.