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UN-SPIDER strengthens Universal Access to the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters

On 16 October, Luc St-Pierre, Coordinator of UN-SPIDER, presented via teleconference the 2014 report of activities of UNOOSA in support to the 

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Publishing Date: 
Mon, 20/10/2014 - 13:20

Bhutan: Project for stronger disaster response and recovery preparedness

Bhutan is prone to various hazards, including earthquakes.

In an effort to enhance disaster preparedness and recovery in Bhutan, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Bhutan Country Office, in close collaboration with the Department of Disaster M

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Publishing Date: 
Wed, 08/10/2014 - 10:18
latitude: 
27.4728
longitude: 
89.6393

Sri Lanka: UN-SPIDER to conduct training programme in November

Sri Lanka is often affected by heavy precipitation and floods.

As a follow up of the UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission (TA

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Publishing Date: 
Mon, 29/09/2014 - 09:25
latitude: 
6.92708
longitude: 
79.8612

Bhutan - Technical Advisory Mission

Dates: 
Mon, 02/06/2014 - Fri, 06/06/2014
Advisory Mission Facts
Mission details
At the request of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Ministry of Home and Civil Affairs (MoHCA), Royal Government of Bhutan, UN-SPIDER organized a Technical Advisory Mission to Bhutan to evaluate the current and potential use of space-based information in Bhutan and to strengthen all aspects of disaster risk management and emergency response through better access to space-based information.
Host Institution: 
Department of Disaster Management (DDM)
Mission Team: 
The mission team comprised seven experts: Shirish Ravan (UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER, China), Karma Lodey Rapten (UNDP, Bhutan), Rajan Bajracharya (ICIMOD, Nepal), Lingling Li (NDRCC, China), Stefan Keinberger (University of Salzburg, Austria), Hari Prasad Vajja (ADPC, Bangladesh) and Satya Parkash Katyal (ISRO, India).
Mission Profile: 
Over the course of five days, the mission team conducted several meetings with key government agencies and institutions accompanied by the UN agencies involved. As part of the Technical Advisory Mission, a one-day workshop was conducted on the penultimate day of the mission. The workshop was attended by about 30 officials representing various ministries and departments of the Royal Government of Bhutan as well as numerous institutions. The workshop sought to generate awareness, address issues and suggest areas where space-based information can be utilized to support the disaster management cycle. During the course of the TAM, the mission team held several discussion sessions to reflect upon their findings to compile the assessments and develop a set of recommendations. On the final day, the team concluded with debriefing sessions with Mr. Chhador Wangdi, Director of DDM, MoHCA, and Ms. Christina Carlson, UNRC in Bhutan.
Mission Findings: 
<p>The mission team was made very much aware of the high priority placed on disaster risk reduction by the Bhutan Government. The importance of disaster risk reduction is echoed as one of the 16 National Key Results Area (NKRA) of the Royal Government of Bhutan for the 11th Five-Year Plan (FYP) running from 2013 to 2018.</p> <p>The Disaster Management Act rightly identified the need of Hazard zone mapping, vulnerability maps and risk assessment. Thus, the mission team noted the DDM’s strive forward to build technical competence to perform tasks like hazard and risk mapping, assessing vulnerability and providing an efficient response during emergencies.</p> <p>The mission team highlighted that the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is well positioned to support the disaster risk reduction mandates of Bhutan’s National Disaster Management Authority as the department is currently perceived by stakeholders as the coordination agency. While capacities to use space-based and geospatial information exist in several stakeholder departments, the DDM needs to be strengthened with the appropriate technical capacity and supporting mechanisms to coordinate with stakeholder agencies and develop national programmes.</p> <p>In addition to several agencies using space technology to prepare map products for disaster risk management, there are various organisations implementing projects with national and international partners using Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology which are directly or indirectly contributing to disaster management. The coordination of these activities could be further strengthened to make available a wealth of spatial information.</p>
Mission Recommendations: 
<b>Policy, Coordination and Cooperation</b> <ul> <li>Formulation of geo-spatial policy related to disaster risk management, which may evolve finally into a National Spatial Data Infrastructure policy for the country</li> <li>The Disaster Management plans and policies should incorporate the use of space-based information and geospatial technology in Disaster Management</li> <li>A common approach and strategy is needed to define key concepts and terminologies to enable the reduction of disaster risk with a link to climate change adaptation and the pillars of Gross National Happiness (GHP) should be coordinated by Department of Disaster Management (DDM)</li> <li>DDM should further strengthen tools and instruments to coordinate activities, capacities, projects and funds in the context of disaster risk management in Bhutan</li></ul> <b>Data access, availability and sharing</b> <ul> <li>DDM should enumerate its data requirements and coordinate with stakeholder agencies for systematic generation data products required for disaster risk reduction decision making</li> <li>Remote sensing data coverage for the entire country on medium resolution and specific areas on high resolution is required to enable generation of geospatial layers required for disaster risk reduction</li> <li>Satellite data requirements for Bhutan should be streamlined through a single agency to enable judicious utilization of funds. All departments can make use of this data</li> <li>DDM should use CGISC as a platform to plan strategies data needs to address current information gaps for disaster risk reduction</li></ul> <b>Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening</b> <ul><li>A capacity building strategy should be developed to address long-term capacity building needs of DDM and its key stakeholders</li> <li>An institution within Bhutan (for example, College of Science and Technology, Royal University of Bhutan) needs to be enabled to offer regular capacity building progammes</li> <li>Key agencies in Bhutan should be further linked to regional and international networks (e.g. such as GSDI, GEO etc.)</li></ul> <b>Strengthening disaster risk reduction decision making</b> <ul><li> The DDM has a critical role to play in establishing mechanisms which allow rapid data sharing with hazard and to ensure that risk maps produced by stakeholder agencies are of national standard</li> <li>The DDM needs to leverage and expand capacities of stakeholder organisations so that they develop products needed for disaster risk reduction</li> <li>Risk and vulnerability mapping should be carried out initially on a pilot basis to develop methodologies and later these methodologies should be applied at the national level. Specific ‘national missions’ should be initiated through DDM to prepare national and sub-national hazard, vulnerability and risk mapping (in a phased manner based on priorities).</li> <li>Disaster risk reduction activities and related interventions should be further linked to climate change adaptation and the objectives of Gross National Happiness.</li></ul> <b>Strengthening early warning and preparedness</b> <ul><li>The DDM should embed early warning from Bhutan Department of Hydro-Meteorological Service (DHMS) in the risk management plans. Currently, early warning is a standalone element at DHMS, and therefore its benefits to responders at the field level and communities at risk are not fully exploited.</li> <li>The DDM should develop capacities to improve multi-hazard early warning by integrating inputs from DMHS, the Department of Geology & Mines, the National Statistics Bureau and other agencies</li> <li>The DDM should play an important role in tailoring/downscaling early warning information to serve decision makers and population at stake (use community-based disaster risk management programme as a base).</li> <li>The DDM should integrate early warning information in a Disaster Management Information System (DMIS).</li></ul> <b>Strengthening emergency response</b> <ul> <li>DDM should work closely with ICIMOD, which is Data Analysis Node of Sentinel Asia</li> <li>DDM should become an Authorised User of the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters</li> <li>UN-SPIDER may help DDM to access satellite images through its network in case of disasters when the International Charter and Sentinel Asia is not activated.</li> <li>DDM should consider having bilateral arrangements with India (SAARC Framework), Japan, and China to source satellite images during emergencies as well as during normal situations. </li> <li>Integration of satellite images with DMIS during emergency response for decision making.</li> <li>Information sharing channel and calls for “Standing Orders during emergencies” should be clear.</li></ul>

Mongolia: UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission concluded

Over 40 participants joined the workshop in Mongolia.
Eight international experts formed the UN-SPIDER TAM mission team

From 11 to 15 August 2014, a UN-SPIDER expert team visited Mongolia to evaluate the current and potential use of space-based information in all the aspects of disaster management and to strengthen

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Publishing Date: 
Mon, 01/09/2014 - 08:54
latitude: 
47.9069
longitude: 
106.94

Call for Experts: Gabon Technical Advisory Mission

Gabon captured by ESA's Envisat radar sensor in 2005

At the invitation of the Government of Gabon, and in connection with the upcoming GEO-XI Plenary in Gabon, UNOOSA (through

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Publishing Date: 
Thu, 31/07/2014 - 16:29
latitude: 
0.3901
longitude: 
9.4544

UN-SPIDER Updates July 2014

Issue Date: 
Mon, 04/08/2014

Nigeria - Technical Advisory Mission

Dates: 
Mon, 13/06/2011 - Fri, 17/06/2011
Advisory Mission Facts
Mission details
The Government of Nigeria through its National EmergencyManagement Agency (NEMA) requested UN-SPIDER to conduct a Technical Advisory Mission to assess the use of space-based information in disaster management in Nigeria and to identify areas of improvement in the access to this kind of information and in the capacities of working with it.
Host Institution: 
National EmergencyManagement Agency (NEMA)
Mission Team: 
The mission team consisted of seven experts representing the Regional Center for Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Country Team Nigeria and UN-SPIDER, as well as staff from the two hosting institutions, namely the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA). The latter hosts the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office in Nigeria.
Mission Profile: 
After a mission team meeting, the experts visited NEMA and NASRDA, including visits to the COSPAS-SARSAT mission control center and the satellite ground control facilities of the Nigerian Space Agency. In the course of the TAM, a stakeholder workshop was organized that brought together more than 100 experts of the Nigerian disaster management community. The workshop was also covered by national television and print media. Furthermore, a technical workshop took place at the premises of NEMA, focusing on the 2010 floods in Sokoto state as a case study with the aim of analyzing the institutional capacities and cooperation of the stakeholders. The setting helped identify strengths and available opportunities in the country and also spurred discussions on perceived limitations and challenges. Visits to individual institutions gave insight into their access to and use of space-based information. The institutional visits were followed by a debriefing to the Director General and other high-ranking staff of NEMA, which was the requesting government agency of the UN-SPIDER mission.
Mission Findings: 
In the follow-up to this TAM, the Nigerian UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office will be of particular importance and play a leading role in shaping new developments. A standard outcome of such a mission is a report that summarizes the observations and recommendations from the TAM and that is submitted to the national Government. These reports serve as a base for national authorities to develop policies and an action plan to improve the use of space-based information and of geo-databases for disaster management in the country. UN-SPIDER is committed to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations through its partners and the network of Regional Support Offices.

China - International Training Course

Photo: FAO/Giulio Napolitano

As a follow up to Technical Advisory Missions (TAM) that the UN-SPIDER programme had conducted in Asian and African countries, this training course was organized.

Date: 
11/11/2012 - 16/11/2012
Title of Training: 
Space technology for drought monitoring in Africa and Asia
Target Group: 
20 officials from eight African countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria and Sudan) and officials from five countries from the Asia-Pacific region (Fiji, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Samoa and Viet Nam) took part in the training course.
Training Profile: 
The objective of the training course was to strengthen the capacity of national agencies in the use of space-based technologies for drought monitoring and assessment. The training included comprehensive hands-on sessions based on data sets (satellite images) prepared for Africa and Asia. The main topics were drought management and space technology; satellite data processing and spatial-temporal analysis; space technology applications for drought risk assessment; and space technology applications for drought monitoring and loss assessment.
latitude: 
39.904
longitude: 
116.408

Solomon Islands - Technical Advisory Mission

Dates: 
Mon, 24/09/2012 - Fri, 28/09/2012
Advisory Mission Facts
Mission details
At the request of the Government of the Solomon Islands, UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) from 24 to 28 September 2012. The goal was to evaluate the current and potential use of space-based information in all the aspects of Disaster management and strengthen disaster risk management in the country by providing better access to space-based information for disaster risk reduction as well as response.
Host Institution: 
National Disaster Management Office (NDMO)
Mission Team: 
The mission was headed by two experts from UN-SPIDER and included experts from UNEP, UNDP, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), York University, Planet Action, the China National Space Administration and the Regional Centre for Mapping and Resources Development (RCMRD), which is one of the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices in Africa.
Mission Profile: 
The mission began with pre-TAM discussions of the mission team with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) of Solomon Islands. The mission team visited several offices during the first three days. These meetings provided an insight to these agencies' roles in the national disaster management processes with an emphasis on space-based and geospatial information. Additionally, a one day workshop was conducted, which was attended by 25 persons from the government departments, UN agencies, NGOs and private companies involved in using geospatial technologies for disaster management. The workshop included presentations from various Solomon Islands Government departments and the mission experts. The second half of the workshop was dedicated to a brainstorming session inviting the participants to contribute to improving the use of space technologies in disaster management. The workshop was effective in generating awareness and getting valuable inputs to strengthen space technology in disaster management. On the last day, the TAM team briefed the Director of NDMO on their findings, which led to a discussion about follow up actions in the near future. The observations and recommendations will be compiled in the form of a report which will be shared with the Solomon Islands Government and UN organisations.