On 17 October 2013, UNOOSA's Director, Mazlan Othman, visited UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office (RSO) in the Islamic Republic of Iran, hosted by the Iran Space Agency (ISA). In the Alborz Space Centre, the experts presented UN-SPIDER RSO activities and services. Other topics discussed included dust storm monitoring in the Middle East, mapping of incoming solar radiation, drought monitoring and forecasting, the National Remote Sensing Laboratory and ISA's Spectral Library Database.
The RSO experts also took the opportunity to present their Geo-Portal and E-Learning system. The E-Learning system is operational both in English and Farsi languages. A draft version of the first English training course entitled "Introduction to Disaster Management" will be uploaded to the E-Learning system soon. Additional modules for the E-Learning system especially in the field of Disaster Management and Disaster Risk Reduction using space technology are currently being developed.
Mazlan Othman highlighted the important role of UN-SPIDER's Iranian RSO: "UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Offices are a dynamic and innovative network. They greatly contribute to horizontal cooperation and to the provision of technical advisory support. In this context, the Iranian Regional Support Office plays an important role as a knowledge source for space-based information for disaster and risk management for the whole region, especially in the area of drought."