Asia Pacific

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LAPAN monitored drought using SPI over the ASEAN region in June 2015 (Image: LAPAN)

ENSO events are bringing an impact on the occurrence of drought in some of Southeast Asia regions. Indonesia National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), as Regional Support Office of UN-SPIDER in Southeast Asia, has been monitoring the drought condition over the regions since June 2015.

Both meteorological and vegetation drought have been monitored using several sources of data. Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) as an indicator of atmospheric drought was analysed using Tropical Rainfall Meteorological Missions (TRMM). Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) and Vegetation Health Index (VHI) as indicators of vegetation drought were analysed using NOAA (from NOAA STAR). Vegetation drought was also analysed by using MODIS data in generating the Vegetation Greenness conditions.

Based on SPI, some regions in Indonesia (Southern Kalimantan, Northen Sumatra, Southern Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara) experienced drought. The same condition also occured in some parts of... read more

Publishing Date: 06/08/2015
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Floods in Pakistan observed by ESA's Envisat satellite in 2010 (Image: ESA)

The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) of Pakistan announced that all rivers of Punjab will be monitored by satellites operated by SUPARCO. The aim is to receive updated information of flow of water in rivers and nullahs in order to monitor floods.

According to Chief Relief Commissioner Punjab and Senior Member Board of Revenue Nadeem Ashraf "modern software had been developed to obtain information regarding the flow of water and its impact on surrounding areas. Information will also be received regarding rains through satellite before time so that planning could be made regarding relief in future."

SUPARCO is one of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Offices - a network of regional centres of expertise on space-based information for disaster... read more

Publishing Date: 26/06/2015
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Satellite view of India (Image: NASA)

India has prepared a concept note of the new SAARC satellite (tentatively called SAARC SAT) to the other members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), in preparation of a special meeting this week. SAARC is an economic and geopolitical organisation of eight countries that are primarily located in South Asia or Indian subcontinent.

The main areas of application for SAARC SAT include telemedicine, emergency communication in disaster situations, intergovernmental and business networks, online skill development and even television broadcasting.

SAARC SAT was proposed by the Indian PM Norendra Modu last year and will be a two ton communication satellite for the whole region. It will be funded by India and launched using the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) launch vehicle at the spaceport of Sriharikota.

Publishing Date: 22/06/2015
UN-SPIDER's programme coordinator, Luc St-Pierre, speaking at the international workshop

The UN-SPIDER Beijing Office in cooperation with the National Geomatics Center of China (NGCC), the Chinese National Committee for Future Earth (CNC-FE), the UN Project Management Office (National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation - NASG) and LIESMARS - Wuhan University co-organized the "International Workshop on Supporting Future Earth with Global Geo-information" from 9 to 10 June, Beijing, China.

UN-SPIDER contributed to the session "Disaster Risk Reduction and Global Geo-information" to support sustainable development and Future Earth initiative with the effort of establishing reliable global geo-information. The session also aimed to promote integration of Earth observation and geo-information technologies in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-2030, which is the theme of upcoming UN-SPIDER Conference in Beijing to take place in September.

Future Earth... read more

Publishing Date: 15/06/2015
Nearly 50 government representatives and experts from 11 countries, 7 regional and international organizations and 14 research institutes attended the workshop

From 2 to 5 June 2015 UN-SPIDER, the National Disaster Reduction Centre of China (NDRCC), and UNESCAP jointly organized the four-day workshop of East Asia Summit (EAS) workshop on ‘Applications of Space Information Technology in Major Natural Disaster Monitoring and Assessment’ and 2nd ASEAN workshop on ‘Development of mechanisms for acquisition and utilisation of space-based information during emergency response. Nearly 50 government representatives and experts from 11 countries, 7 regional and international organizations and 14 research institutes attended the workshop to share experiences on applications of space-based information in major natural disaster monitoring and assessment. Both events took place in Hangzhou, China.

The EAS workshop included sessions on advance remote sensing technologies as well as the service of space based information for space-based disaster risk reduction. A special focus was placed on technology and applications using multi-source and multi... read more

Publishing Date: 12/06/2015
Floods in the Fiji archipelago (Image: AusAID)

A major regional geospatial information system and other innovative risk assessment tools are being developed to assist Pacific Island countries to undertake evidence-based decision making in development planning and finance as was announced during a four-day workshop from 9 to 12 June 2015 in Suva, Fiji with the participation of Pacific region government representatives and development partners.

Such instruments are being developed by the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and are funded by the Japanese Government and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Apart from rapid impact estimation tool, one of the main products is the Pacific Risk Information System (PacRIS), which contains detailed, country-specific data on assets, population, hazards and risks and uses multiple applications, such as the Pacific risk insurance pilot. It has already been used by Tonga and Vanuatu and uses open and free... read more

Publishing Date: 12/06/2015
“Disaster Reporting” app is now freely available in Google Play (Image: ICIMOD)

“Disaster Reporting” is a new android application launched by UN-SPIDER's Nepal Regional Support Office ICIMOD and Kathmandu University, Nepal, with the aim of easing relief processes of disaster events through contributive reports of the users.

The users can select the type of disaster event and inform about the impact and damages caused, the number of people injured or the relief requirements on the field, among others. Users’ reports allow creating and updating an interactive and freely accessible map, which helps better understanding and assessing the situation.

“The app can be used by government and nongovernmental organizations for field data collection for long-term planning for rebuilding and reconstruction, disaster assessment, relief distribution and overall disaster management,” said Shashish Maharjan, the main coordinator of the application development.

The application was developed by the Geospatial Lab, Department of Civil and Geomatics... read more

Publishing Date: 10/06/2015
Seventeen of the world’s most disaster-prone countries from Asia have been discussing how to implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (Image: US Navy)

The first International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Asia Partnership (IAP) meeting of 2015 has been conducted from 3 to 5 June in Bangkok, Thailand.

Representatives from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, East Timor and Vietnam, seventeen of the world’s most disaster-prone countries, have been discussing how to further implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction across Asia. The main highlighted topics were reducing mortality, numbers of people affected, economic losses, damage to critical infrastructure and improving early warning systems.    

The will of a switch in emphasis from disaster management to disaster risk management has been very present, with the aim of eliminating or mitigating the impact of underlying drivers of risk such as poor urban planning, non-compliance with building codes and destruction of eco-systems. 

“We... read more

Publishing Date: 05/06/2015
Satellite image of UAE by DubaiSat-1 (Image: EIAST)

Deimos Space UK and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) in the UAE have joined in a year-long project to get more valuable data from their satellites DubaiSat and Deimos.

As an article on Arabian Aerospace online news service reported, the “Smart Application for Feature extraction and 3D modelling using high resolution satellite Imagery” (SAFIY) project will use Earth observation (EO) data to monitor, and detect changes in vegetation, water, road networks and buildings in support of Dubai's “smart government” initiative.

Another objective expected from the cooperation is the development and melioration of mapping applications. Typical applications include products and services for agriculture, forestry, disaster monitoring, land use, surveillance and intelligence.

... read more

Publishing Date: 03/06/2015
The workshop is focusing on coastal hazard assessment

Today, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO) opened their training workshop "Coastal Hazard Assessment: Applications in Risk Assessment, Management and Mitigation" in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where the 2004 tsunami killed more than 35,000 people.The workshop, taking place from 2 to 5 June 2015, is bringing together 27 participants from 17 countries exposed to tsunamis here in the Indian Ocean.

Risk assessment and risk management are one of the three key areas of work of UNESCO-IOC. The workshop is part of the “Tsunami Risk Assessment and Mitigation for the Indian Ocean” project (TRATE), sponsored by UN ESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), and one of the activities of the recently established Working Group on Risk Assessment and Mitigation of the International Coordination Group of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System. The project involved a revision of the Tsunami Risk Assessment guideline. This updated... read more

Publishing Date: 02/06/2015
Approximately 30 experts participated in the workshop and training (Image: IWMI)

UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Sri Lanka, the International Water Management Institute IWMI, conducted a training on "Earth Observation Technologies for Flood-risk Mapping and Forecast Rating Curve for Flood Recession Agriculture in Nigeria". At the same occasion, the participants were briefed on the findings of a recent research project on "Turning tragedy into an opportunity: water management solutions for flood recession and dry season agriculture in Nigeria” supported by Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD). The workshop and training took place from 5 to 7 May 2015 and were organized jointly by IWMI, FMARD and UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Nigeria, NASRDA.

Approximately 30 experts participated in the event and were trained on the use of space technology for flood risk reduction from FMARD, NiMET, NIHSA, NASRDA and academic institutes.

Publishing Date: 27/05/2015
Japan to use a supercomputer for disaster risk reduction after the devastation caused by the 2011 tsunami (Image: U.S. Air Force)

The Tohoku University and Fujitsu Laboratories jointly developed a real-time flood analysis system with the help of the Fujitsu's supercomputer, K.

Disaster risk reduction has become a priority for Japan after 2011 tsunami, which devastated the coast and left more than 15,000 killed. With the help of K, this new system will allow calculating the estimated arrival time of tsunamis and the probability and extent of infrastructural damage.

The website Nikkei Asian Review reported: "The new system automatically predicts and simulates models of tectonic shifts and sea surface deformation at the time of earthquakes, using relevant data. Then, it performs parallel computations using the supercomputer K to thoroughly estimate the tsunami's effects on areas. The K is capable of 10-quadrillion computations per second. It can figure out how far inland will be affected within 10 minutes of... read more

Publishing Date: 14/05/2015
Approximately 6.5 million people were affected in the region (Image: HDX)

On Saturday, 25 April 2015 a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and India with several aftershocks following on Saturday and Sunday. GDACS estimates that 6.5 million people are affected. Several actors from the satellite and mapping communities have become active in supporting response efforts in the region; particularly in Nepal, which was most severely affected.

  • Copernicus Emergency Mapping Service (EMS) was activated by EC Services|DG ECHO. Maps are available at the EMS webpage. Regular updates on mapping products are also available via subscription to the Copernicus EMS RSS feed.
  • The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters... read more
Publishing Date: 27/04/2015
The training course will strengthen the capacities of Bhutan to use satellite information for disasters

On 13 April 2015, UN-SPIDER and UNDP Bhutan kicked off a training course for Bhutanese officials on "Response and recovery preparedness". The course will be held until 17 April at the Centre for Space Science Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) in Dehradun, India.

The course is following up on a recommendation of the UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission to Bhutan in November 2014. Its goal is to strengthen Bhutan's capacities to use satellite imagery for disaster management. The course will enhance the capacity of Bhutanese officials on disaster preparedness, response and recovery at national and local levels and mitigating the impacts on people’s life and livelihoods when they are hit by disasters, thereby contributing to long-term disaster risk reduction in the country.

The training programme includes topics such as setting up a... read more

Publishing Date: 14/04/2015
Participants of the training course in Dhaka, Bangladesh

From 5 to 9 April 2015, UN-SPIDER and the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in Bangladesh jointly organised the five-day course "Earth observation technologies for disaster damage and loss assessment" in Dhaka.

The course strengthened damage and loss assessment by teaching the use of satellite images to contribute to damage and loss assessment. It provided DDM and important stakeholder departments with easy, rapid and accurate ways of assessing damage and loss during disasters using satellite remote sensing. It more specifically imparted skills on using satellite remote sensing for multi-hazard risk assessment, damage assessment of important sectors like agriculture, housing, road infrastructure and demography.

Experts from eight organisations contributed to the training by conducting lectures and hands-on sessions: National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC), International Water Management Institute (IWMI), International Centre for Integrated Mountain... read more

Publishing Date: 10/04/2015
The two training programmes aim to strengthen the capacities of Bangladesh and Bhutan to effectively use satellite-based information for disaster risk reduction (Image: NASA)

UN-SPIDER is planning to conduct two training programmes in April. 

From 5 to 9 April 2015, the programme is jointly organizing the five-day course "Earth observation technologies for disaster damage and loss assessment" in Dhaka, Bangladesh with the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) in Bangladesh.

It aims to strengthen damage and loss assessment by teaching the use of satellites images to contribute to damage and loss assessment. It will allow DDM and important stakeholder departments with easy, rapid and accurate ways of assessing damage and loss during disasters using satellite remote sensing. It more specifically aims to impart skills on using satellite remote sensing for multi-hazard risk assessment, damage assessment of important sectors like agriculture, housing, road infrastructure and demography. Experts from the following organisations are contributing to the training by conducting lectures and hands-on sessions: National Disaster... read more

Publishing Date: 01/04/2015
Earth observation image for agriculture and rural development applications

In October 2014 a new cooperative project between ESA and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), called Earth Observation for a Transforming Asia Pacific (EOTAP), was launched.

The enterprise seeks to advance satellite Earth observation capabilities through a wide range of development projects in Asia and the Pacific.

In particular, the EOTAP initiative includes twelve projects related to the use of satellite data for sustainable growth. The final results will be assessed in the autumn of next year.

The initiative's rationale is that using satellite data is particularly relevant in areas such as urban, agriculture and rural development applications, as well as energy management, disaster and risk analysis and climate change mitigation strategies.

“We hope increased cooperation with agencies such as ESA and Earth observation service providers will lead to strengthened capacity among our developing member countries to better exploit the potential of geo-... read more

Publishing Date: 18/12/2014
More than 70,000 people were killed by natural disasters annually

Recognizing how important it is to find innovative solutions to save lives and reduce economic losses, researchers from the High Impact Weather Research Centre (HIWRC) at South Korea’s Gangneung-Wonju National University have developed a new device which could soon predict natural disasters before they even hit. Natural disasters such as floods, cyclones, earthquakes, drought and tsunamis have a great impact in the countries of the Asia Pacific region where, according to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, from 2001-2010, on average, more than 200 million people were affected and more than 70,000 people were killed by natural disasters annually. However, the information given to the local authorities by this new device could save numerous lives and reduce economic losses brought about by natural disasters.

Dr. Chul Sohn, a geospatial expert from HIWRC, explained that the device is able to forecast weather up to twelve hours before... read more

Publishing Date: 15/11/2013

UN-SPIDER Training Activity

International Training Programme on Space-Based Technologies for Disaster Risk Assessment

The training was aimed to make participants with the necessary understanding of the Application of UAV remote sensing in disaster monitoring and loss assessment, automatic interpretation of high-resolution remote sensing images based on deep learning for disaster monitoring and loss assessment, 3D-modeling of UAV images.

Participants also had the opportunity to receive training in the...

Date of training: 05/09/2019 to 09/09/2019

Regional Support Office

The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) of Pakistan and the United Nations Office of Outer space Affairs (UNOOSA) signed the cooperation agreement on the establishment of a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office (RSO) on the occasion of the 47th Scientific and Technical Subcommittee sessions on 12 February 2010.

SUPARCO, the national space agency, was established in 1961 as a Committee and was granted the status of a Commission in 1981. SUPARCO is mandated to conduct R&D in space science, space technology, and their peaceful applications in the country. It works towards developing indigenous capabilities in space technology and promoting space applications for socio-economic uplift of the country.

Address:

Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO)
Islamabad Highway,
Islamabad-44000 Pakistan

http://www.suparco.gov.pk/

Mission/Objective:

To... read more

A Regional Support Office has been set up in the Islamic Republic of Iran, hosted by the Iranian Space Agency. Its website includes discussion forums on Capacity Building, data sharing, definitions of technical specifications, telemedicine, events and disasters.

Address:

Iranian Space Agency
No. 34, Shahid Soltani Street, Nelson Mandela Blvd. 

Postal Code:  1967734113

Tehran, Iran

Missions/Objectives:

-National and international focal point for all RS activities
-Design, manufacture, launch and use remote sensing and telecommunication satellites

Head of Institute:

Dr.Hamid Fazeli President of the Iranian Space Agency
Email: info [at] isa.ir

Primary Contact:

Mr. Mostafa Mansourpour
Coordinator of UN-SPIDER RSO
Phone: +98-21-23344
Fax: +98-21-22029000
Email: mmansourpournaeini [at] isa.ir (@isa.ir)

Capacity Building Facilities/ Training... read more

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