1st Regional Conference on Geoinformatics: Disaster Management and Early Warning Systems, Kuwait

19 December 2008 - The Gulf region faces a specific combination of hazards including climate change, drought, sand storms, air pollution, oil spills and landslide-caused tsunami. Government authorities and research institutions in the region are increasingly aware of the need to dispose of appropriate geo-spatial and space-based technology to successfully meet this challenge. This first regional conference on Geoinformatics, held from 24 to 26 November 2008 in Kuwait, was organized by the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) and the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) in cooperation with the National Authority for Remote Sensing and Space Sciences (NARSS), Egypt, to assess the application of geo-technology for disaster management and early warning systems.
Participants from Egypt, Italy, Libya, Oman, Syria, the United Kingdom and the United Nations (UN-SPIDER and WHO) presented case studies, research results and national experiences. The implementation of advanced communication and information technology, e.g. to ensure interoperability of subsystems in the generation of common operational pictures in situation centres, as well as decision support systems are thought to play a key role in strengthening disaster management in the region. Possible areas of collaboration between Kuwait and UN-SPIDER were also discussed.