Fire burning in northern New Mexico captured by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 in June 2013. Image: NASA.

At the end of April and the beginning of May 2020, Peten, the northern province or department of Guatemala, experienced severe forest fires that forced Guatemala’s National Coordinating Agency for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) to request the activation of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters to map the geographical extent of the fires.

To support members of Guatemala’s technical, inter-institutional, GIS and... read more

Publishing Date: 08/06/2020
Drone view of Seychelles coastline

The  Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), a grant-funding mechanism managed by the World Bank, has released a new report that analyzes how machine learning (ML) can be applied in disaster risk management (DRM) projects. The publication provides a concise, demystifying reference that readers - from project... read more

Publishing Date: 26/02/2019
Panel at UN-SPIDER/CONCYT seminar.

The United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) and the National Council for Science and Technology of Guatemala (CONCYT), through the National Secretariat for Science and Technology (SENACYT), co-organize a seminar in Guatemala from 30 to 31 October about the technological and institutional progress made in Guatemala in... read more

Publishing Date: 31/10/2018

UN-SPIDER and the National Secretariat for Science and Technology of Guatemala (SENACYT) joined forces to conduct a seminar on the use of science, technology and innovation in disaster risk reduction and response efforts. The seminar was conducted in Guatemala City on 24 July 2018 as part of the week-long CONVERCIENCIA 2018 event organized by SENACYT. The seminar... read more

Publishing Date: 21/08/2018
Guatemala training course July 2017

In recent decades, Guatemala has been experiencing disasters triggered by geologic and hydro-meteorological hazards that have impacted urban and rural communities. In order to increase the country’s capacity to make use of space-based information to address these hazards, UN-SPIDER, in conjunction with the National Secretariat of the Council of Science and Technology of Guatemala (SENACYT) and the Executive Secretariat of National Coordinating Agency for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala (SE-CONRED) held three-day training for a technical inter-institutional team. The training took place at the GIS Laboratory of the Faculty of Agriculture of San Carlos University (USAC), Guatemala City.

Experts from the Agustin Codazzi Geographic Institute (IGAC, in its role as one of the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices) and of the Federal University of Santa Maria in Rio... read more

Publishing Date: 04/08/2017
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

The National Secretariat for Science and Technology of Guatemala (SENACYT) organized a week-long event called CONVERCIENCIA 2017 to showcase the research conducted by Guatemalan researchers living abroad and researchers living in Guatemala. The event, conducted from 24 to 28 July 2017, includes conferences in universities and research centres in Guatemala City, Antigua City, Chiquimula City, and Quetzaltenango City. The event brought together researchers who are focusing their efforts in physics, mathematics, chemistry, public health, biology and bio-technology, space technology, information and communications technologies and computer science among others. SENACYT mobilized 19 Guatemalan researchers from countries in Europe, Asia, and America.

UN-SPIDER was invited to participate in this event, and took the opportunity to showcase the use of space technologies in... read more

Publishing Date: 28/07/2017
Landslide in Santa Catarina Pinula, Guatemala due to heavy rains. (Source: The

The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters has been triggered to provide satellite-based emergency maps in response to heavy rains that triggered a massive landslide in the "El Cambray 2" urban settlement in Santa Catarina Pinula, Guatemala. The mechanism was activated on 7 October 2015, at 02:57 (UTC+02:00) by the USGS on behalf of the National Emergency Operations Center of Guatemala. The NEOC of Guatemala requested the activation of the Charter via... read more

Publishing Date: 07/10/2015

The Coordination Centre for Natural Disaster Prevention in Central America (CEPREDENAC) in Guatemala launched on 19 November 2012 an online Platform for Information and Communication for Integrated Risk Management: The website offers a range of information and applications that help strengthen mechanisms for coordination and institutional and sectoral... read more

Publishing Date: 20/11/2012

On 7 November 2012 at 10:35 am local time, the southwestern region of Guatemala was impacted by a strong earthquake that provoked fatalities and losses. The 7.4 magnitude earthquake had its epicenter 35 kilometers south of the Port of Champerico in the Retalhuleu Department. The National Coordinating Agency for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala (CONRED) conducted a damage and needs assessment and confirmed that most damages took place in the highlands. On 8 November 2012 the President of the Republic of Guatemala, Mr. Otto Perez Molina, declared a State of Public Calamity in San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Quiche and Huehuetenango. In order to obtain satellite imagery and maps of the affected area, the Executive Secretariat of CONRED contacted UN-SPIDER to request the activation... read more

Publishing Date: 13/11/2012

In collaboration with the Ministry of Environment & Natural Resources (MARN) in Guatemala, UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office CATHALAC (Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean) is carrying out a satellite-based analysis of the current mangrove cover of Guatemala. The experts elaborated several maps showing the cover in 2012. Various remote sensing and field data techniques were applied to conduct this research. The experts used satellite images of the periods from 2001 to 2012 including Landsat-5 TM, Landsat-7 ETM + (NASA /... read more

Publishing Date: 08/10/2012

UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office CATHALAC (Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean) quickly reacted to yesterday's eruption of Guatemala's Fuego Volcano. In the context of SERVIR, the experts published a preliminary analysis of the volcano eruption including NASA MODIS satellite imagery, NOAA GOESS data as well as prognostics on winds and further volcanic activities. Additionally, via CATHALAC's GeoViewer,... read more

Publishing Date: 14/09/2012

UN-SPIDER participated in the Central American Communicators' Forum "The role of Institutional Communications in the Culture of Risk Prevention" organised by the Coordination Center for Natural Disaster Prevention of Central America (CEPREDENAC) on 10 July 2012. The forum took place in Guatemala City and was attended by forty public relations and media officers from various ministries, civil protection... read more

Publishing Date: 26/07/2012

In recent years, Guatemala has been affected by a variety of natural hazards including tropical storms, landslides, droughts and volcanic eruptions. Such events have triggered disasters that have forced the government to request humanitarian assistance, and to rethink its reconstruction efforts with risk management practices in mind. In order to generate and make better use of geospatial information to support risk management and emergency... read more

Publishing Date: 25/07/2012

On Saturday evening 19 May 2012, the Volcano "Fuego" in Guatemala had a strong eruption, which led to the evacuation of some communities located on its foothills. The National Emergency Response Commission (CONRED) of Guatemala subsequently requested UN-SPIDER's support in facilitating the access to... read more

Publishing Date: 23/05/2012

UN-SPIDER’s Regional Support Office CATHALAC prepared a preliminary analysis of the effects of land subsidence in Mixco, Guatemala using space-based information. The analysis was prepared in the context of SERVIR and with the collaboration of Guatemala’s Ministry of the Environment (MARN), the National Protected Areas Council (CONAP), and UN-SPIDER.

In summarizing the analysis, it is noted that overlaying the map of the area’s hydro-geology allows one to see that the communities affected are located not only above an aquifer, but also near a system of geological faults, both of which may be contributing to the land subsidence. Additionally, the preliminary analysis shows that the urbanized area above the aquifer has been rapidly expanding at a rate of... read more

Publishing Date: 28/03/2012

Using the 3D-UDOP Geo-viewer to enhance situational awareness of seismic risk in Guatemala

Guatemala is a country exposed to a variety of hazards including earthquakes. Located at the intersection of three tectonic plates, the country is prone to large earthquakes such as the one which took place on 4 February 1976, which killed more than 23,000 people and affected nearly five million inhabitants.

To illustrate the capacity of geo-viewers for enhancing situational awareness concerning seismic risk in Guatemala, the United States Southern Command, Thermopylae S+T of the United States, the National Coordinating Agency for... read more

Publishing Date: 01/04/2011

In an effort to showcase the capacity of geo-viewers to enhance situational awareness concerning risks associated with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, Thermopylae Sciences and Technology of the United States, the National Coordinating Agency for Disaster Reduction (CONRED), Mariano Galvez University, and the Center for Natural Disaster Research and Mitigation (CIMDEN) from Guatemala are joining forces to demonstrate the capacities of the 3D-UDOP geo-viewer developed by Thermopylae S&T to display information about... read more

Publishing Date: 04/02/2011

UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Guatemala from 22 to 26 November 2010. Conducted at the request of the Presidential Secretariat for Planning and Programming (SEGEPLAN), UN-SPIDER assembled a team of experts from CATHALAC-SERVIR which is a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office, CONAE, CRECTEALC, and the Organization of American States.

As in previous missions in Ecuador, Jamaica, and Dominican Republic, the TAM to Guatemala included visits to a variety of government institutions and universities, as well as a workshop with the goal of identifying strengths and weaknesses regarding access to and use of space-based information in all phases of the... read more

Publishing Date: 30/11/2010

On March 5, 2010 the UN-SPIDER attended a meeting with the Lady Executive Director of SEGEPLAN (Secretaría de Planificación y Programación de la Presidencia), Dr. Karin Slowing Umaña to discuss a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM)  to be conducted by UN-SPIDER to Guatemala later this year. 

The mission, to be conducted at the request of SEGEPLAN, builds up on previous interactions between SEGEPLAN and UN-SPIDER. The mission will be conducted to assess current institutional capacities regarding access to and use of space-based information for disaster-risk reduction and emergency... read more

Publishing Date: 01/04/2010

UN-SPIDER was invited by the Guatemalan Council of Science and Technology to participate in CONVERCIENCIA 2009, which forms part of a strategy to promote the development of science, technology and innovation within Guatemala. On an annual basis, Guatemalan scientists working abroad are invited to conduct outreach activities in the country, network with local scientists and practitioners, deliver presentation to the general public and provide advice to the National Secretariat for Science and Technology. As an outcome of this mission to Guatemala, a project was outlined to be conducted with the support of UN-SPIDER to investigate the dynamics of the problem of sedimentation which arises when torrential rainfall transports extreme amounts of sand from the foothills of active volcanoes to deltas and floodplains. The project will aim at providing municipal and regional governments with policy-relevant advice regarding how to cope with such sedimentation processes through land-use... read more

Publishing Date: 27/08/2009

UN-SPIDER Training Activity

Remote sensing techniques and UN-SPIDER Recommended Practices on drought and burn severity mapping

During the three-day training, the inter-institutional technical team was trained on how to use remote sensing techniques and UN-SPIDER Recommended Practices on droughts and forest fires as a way to generate relevant and timely geospatial information that is useful for...

Date of training: 31/07/2017 to 02/08/2017

Advisory Support

An official mission was conducted to Guatemala as a way to follow-up on the provision of technical advisory support to Guatemala. 

Mission dates: 07/07/2016 to 11/07/2016

En los últimos años Guatemala se ha visto afectada por desastres de varios tipos incluyendo erupciones volcánicas,inundaciones y sequías. En Noviembre del 2010 ONU-SPIDER realizó una Misión de Asesoría Técnica en Guatemala. En seguimiento a esta MAT,en Noviembre del 2011 se realizó una Misión de Expertos con el objetivo de apoyar a CONRED y SEGEPLAN en la institucionalización de un grupo técnico que enfoque sus esfuerzos en las aplicaciones de percepción remota para la reducción de riesgos y la respuesta en caso de desastres.

Mission dates: 31/10/2011 to 06/11/2011

In recent years Guatemala has been impacted by disasters of various kinds including volcanic eruptions, floods and droughts. In November 2010, UN-SPIDER had conducted a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Guatemala. As a follow-up, this expert mission was carried out to support government institutions in the institutionalization of a technical group focusing on remote sensing applications for disaster risk reduction and emergency response.

Mission dates: 31/10/2011 to 06/11/2011

Guatemala está expuesta a una variedad de amenazas tales como terremotos, erupciones volcánicas, inundaciones, sequías, deslizamientos e incendios forestales. En lo referente a información obtenida desde el espacio,Guatemala solicitó la activación de la Carta Internacional: Espacio y las Grandes Desastres durante la tormenta tropical Ágata y la erupción del volcán Pacaya en Junio del 2010. A petición de la Secretaría de Planificación y Programación de la Presidencia (SEGEPLAN),ONU-SPIDER realizó una Misión de Asesoría Técnica.

Mission dates: 22/11/2010 to 26/11/2010


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