Technical Advisory Mission to Burkina Faso

11 December 2008 - In June 2008, the Government of Burkina Faso officially requested a UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission to assess the use of space-based information for Disaster management and emergency response in Burkina Faso, and to identify potential areas where space-based information could play a greater role. A five-member team of international experts conducted the Technical Advisory Mission in Burkina Faso from 17 to 21 November 2008. Among other issues, the mission team discussed how space-based technology could contribute to information management in different sectors of disaster management, such as drought and flood monitoring, control of epidemics, or locust invasion. The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters," a mechanism to support emergency response services worldwide with satellite-derived disaster information, was presented to national institutions. Also presented were successful early warning systems in the region, such as locust invasion warning systems.
The mission team included experts from the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL), the French Space Agency (CNES), UNOCHA's Regional Office for West Africa in Dakar, Senegal, and UN-SPIDER. The team visited a total of 15 institutions, including nine governmental institutions, four UN organizations (UNDP, UNOCHA, WFP, WHO), and one bilateral institution (FEWSNET). Preliminary results were presented during a debriefing session at the end of the mission. A technical report with recommendations is being prepared, which will be presented to the COPUOS Scientific and Technical Sub-committee in February 2009. Furthermore, a strategy is being developed to explore what kind of follow-up mechanisms may be implemented in Burkina Faso in terms of capacity development and institutional strengthening.