The Third International UN-SPIDER Bonn Workshop – From Concepts to Application
Opening ceremony with Government representatives
This year’s UN-SPIDER Workshop focuses on the implementation of concepts into actual applications and projects. Climate Change and desertification pose special challenges to the disaster management community and will receive particular attention during the workshop.
On Wednesday, October 21, 2009, the Third International UN-SPIDER Bonn Workshop was inaugurated with speeches by the Ambassador of Germany at the UN in Vienna, His Excellency Rüdiger Lüdeking, by the Ambassador of Namibia to Germany, His Excellency Neville Gertze and by Ms. Margitta Wülker-Mirbach of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.
The role of UN-SPIDER as a bridge between the satellite technology and the disaster management communities was acknowledged by all key note speakers. Ambassador Rüdiger Lüdeking highlighted the importance of the exploration and use of outer space to the benefit of all countries and populations worldwide. He further confirmed the commitment of the German government to space-based approaches, including the work of UN-SPIDER and its continuance. The Ambassador of Namibia His Excellency Neville Gertze acknowledged UN-SPIDER’s support to his country which has been repeatedly affected by floods in the last years and has established a close cooperation with the UN-SPIDER programme. Ms. Margitta Wülker-Mirbach expressed the German government’s appreciation for the progress made by UN-SPIDER since its beginnings and emphasized Germany’s commitment to a multilateral approach to bringing together space-based information and disaster management.
Prof. Dr. Woerner of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) then continued the opening ceremony highlighting the working areas of DLR related to disaster management and the continuous, fruitful cooperation with UN-SPIDER. He then opened the exposition “WHAT A SIGHT – Space Looking out for World Heritage” which is shown in the UN-Building during the workshop. It features satellite images of World Heritage sites providing unique views on Earth and on the footprints that mankind leaves on it. Some of the motives shown are the Pyramids of Gizeh, the Everglades, and the Museumsinsel in Berlin.
In the remaining two days of the workshop the 150 participants will exchange their practical experience with the use of space technology as well as recent technical developments designed to collect and provide relevant information on the topic, including direct access to available data. Furthermore, applications in the areas of adaptation to climate change and disaster medicine will be part of the agenda. The next steps forward will also be identified in order to move ahead and continue the ambitious work.
The full report on the workshop as well as the presentations given during the different sessions will be provided on this portal as soon as possible.