SPIDER Thematic Partnership LAC: Second Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction in America

UN-SPIDER participated in the Second Session of the Regional Platform for Disaster-Risk Reduction of the Americas organized by the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR), the Civil Protection System of the Government of Mexico, and other international partners. The event gathered more than 300 stakeholders from North, Central and South America and also from the Caribbean region. UN-SPIDER organized a side event in the context of the SPIDER Thematic Partnership for Latin America and the Caribbean (TP-LAC) to showcase activities of the following partners: the Argentinean National Commission on Space Activities (CONAE), Thermopylae S+T, Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center (CENAPRED), and Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRECTEALC). The session allowed the SPIDER TP-LAC to present examples of the use of space-based information for disaster-risk management, in particular in case of drought and desertification, in particular geo-viewers, their application and training activities.

The following presentations were held during this side session:

Álvaro Soldano CONAE Aplicaciones Espaciales en la Gestión para la Reducción del Riesgo y para la Respuesta en caso de Emergencias en América Latina y el Caribe
Juliana Peña THERMOPYLAE S+T Aplicación del geo-visor 3D-UDOP en Guatemala
Oscar Zepeda CENAPRED Uso de Imágenes Satelitales para el Sistema de Análisis y Visualización de Escenarios de Riesgo
Jesús González CRECTEALC Actividades y Programas Académicos ofrecidos por CRECTEALC
Juan Carlos Villagrán ONU-SPIDER La Red Temática SPIDER-ALC: Actividades en proceso

Following the plenary presentations, participants discussed different issues. This included the fact that there is a considerable difference in capacities from country to country and from region to region. Therefore, there is a need to tailor the institutional strengthening efforts. In addition, after receiving an overview of space-based information, participants recognized the need to strengthen capacities at the national level in areas related to processing space-based data, in order to generate information and to reach local communities with tailor-made products adjusted to their capacities and needs. Furthermore, participants reiterated the need to combine ground-based, aerial-based, and space-based data to generate information that is useful for risk reduction and disaster response. The discussion ended with the view that it is necessary to migrate from elaborating risk maps to elaborating scenarios of impacts when trying to reach decision makers.

The participation in this session of the Regional Platform allowed UN-SPIDER:

  • To advance the planning of a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Haiti through specific conversations with the representatives of the Civil Protection of Haiti; UNDP, ACS, and CDEMA in Barbados, as well as with representatives from NGOs present in this region,
  • To advance the coordination of training activities targeting the Dominican Republic and Jamaica, where the UN-SPIDER Programme has already conducted TAMs,
  • To network with representatives from various institutions participating in this event, including representatives from CEPREDENAC, CAPRADE, CDEMA, UNDP-Barbados, OAS, ISDR-LAC, US-OFDA, etc.,
  • To strengthen the links with CRECTEALC as a way of strengthening institutional capacities in this Hemisphere.

Outcomes:
In the context of the SPIDER TP-LAC, this side session allowed UN-SPIDER to continue the process of engaging national platforms and other agencies for disaster reduction as a way to promote the use of space-based information in cooperation with other partners. In addition, the event allowed UN-SPIDER to advance the coordination of future activities with partners such as CONAE, CENAPRED, CRECTEALC, and Thermopylae S+T. CONAE will focus efforts on promoting the use of space-based information targeting drought and its impacts, while the Colombian Space Commission has been asked to target the topic of Spatial Database Infrastructures.

This session of the Regional Platform concluded with a Communiqué reiterating the need to work towards the achievement of the goals set forth in the Hyogo Framework for Action through the five Key Priority Areas of Action, and with a set of recommendations to the Global Platform.