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The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated in Indonesia on 13 February by one of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Offices, the Asian Disaster Reduction Center, in order to provide satellite-based emergency maps for a volcanic eruption in Indonesia. The mechanism was activated on behalf of the Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, also one of UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Offices.

Mount Kelud erupted late on 13 February. 100,000 people were evacuated and around 200,000 were affected. The volcano is located on the island Java and the eruption spread debris and ash as far as 200 km.

The cities closest to the volcano are nearly entirely covered with ash, causing…

Publishing date 17/02/2014

The Sinabung volcano was seen as non-active, with no historical records of eruptions, until 2010. A brief eruption back then caused the evacuation of about 30,000 nearby residents and other eruptions have followed since.

The Advanced Land Imager on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite captured the natural colored image of the recent volcano eruptions on 16 January 2014. Frequent collapses from the unstable lava dome near Sinabung’s summit have created pyroclastic flows that have swept at least 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) down the volcano’s slopes.

Ash clouds coated nearby villages, as well as the coffee, chili pepper and other plantations near the volcano. The eruptions caused permanent evacuation of the closest villages.

Publishing date 23/01/2014

In line with Indonesia's One Map Initiative (OMI) launched in 2012, indigenous communities are using GPS technology to demarcate the boundaries of their ancestral lands including forests, reported The Guardian yesterday.

A spokesperson of the Indigenous Peoples' Alliance of the Archipelago (Aman), a Jakarta-based secretariat representing more than 2,000 communities, says that community map making proved useful to the communities in their pursuit to protect their lands and forests.

Additionally, the 2D and 3D maps could help mitigate the impact of climate change by an improved land and forest management. "Indonesia's forests are recognised as important, not only at local and national levels but also at the…

Publishing date 10/01/2014

On 7 January 2014 the International Charter Space and Major Disasters was activated due to the numerous eruption of the Mount Sinabung in Sumatra, Indonesia. The volcano erupted 115 times for 48 hours and remains highly active. Over 23000 people were evacuated.

The government and the local authorities are supported by soldiers in the evacuation of the people within the 7 km zone. The volcano has been on the highest alert level since November 2013.

Publishing date 08/01/2014

On 03 November 2013, the Mount Sinabung on the island of Sumatra erupted for the third time in three months, causing an ash plume 7 km high. This event led to the evacuation of the area and the activation of the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters on November 5, as requested by USGS on behalf of Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation to support with the assessment of the situation. To fulfill this purpose the Project Management lies upon Cascades Volcano Observatory.

Although 1500 people have already been evacuated in four villages near the volcano's summit, more people is expected to be moved out due to concerns over further volcanic activity and potential landslides.

Publishing date 06/11/2013

In parallel to the United Nations/Indonesia International Conference on Integrated Space Technology Applications to Climate Change facilitated by UNOOSA, UN-SPIDER organized a one-day stakeholder meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia on 3 September 2013. The meeting was organized jointly with LAPAN, UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office in Indonesia.

The stakeholders meeting, which was part of UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Support (TAS) efforts, focused on the utilization of space-based information for disaster risk management. This meeting was attended by over 25 key stakeholders of the disaster management community in Indonesia, including two UN agencies (OCHA and WFP), ASEAN Humanitarian Agency, the Pacific Disaster Centre, the National Disaster Reduction Centre of China and the German Aerospace Center.

The Deputy Chairman of Remote Sensing Affairs of Indonesia, Mr Taufik Maulana, inaugurated the meeting and participated in the discussions. The meeting started with formal…

Publishing date 11/09/2013
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

On 4 September 2013, UNOOSA and LAPAN, the Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space, successfully concluded a three-day conference focusing on integrated Space technology applications to climate change. The Conference brought together around 150 Indonesian and international experts from the space, the environment, academia and the climate change community as well as decision makers from Member States and from national, regional, and international organizations. The goals of the conference included to discuss ways in which Member States affected by climate change can make better use of space applications to assess the manifestations of and the vulnerability to climate change as well to improve synergies among stakeholders targeting efforts on mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

The conference included plenary presentations and discussions as well as nine working groups that focused on the following topics:

  • Mitigation/REDD
Publishing date 04/09/2013
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

During the 7th Senior Disaster Management Officials Forum (SDMOF) celebrated in Kuta, Indonesia, on  22 August 2013, the chairman of Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), Syamsul Maarif, encouraged the members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to jointly take steps further on the implementation of more sophisticated technologies for disaster risk reduction in order to reduce their common vulnerability towards disasters. According to studies released in 2012, the Asia-Pacific region has been categorized as the most disaster-prone area in the world with around 2 million deaths due to natural disasters between 1970 and 2011.

“We have to install the most advanced technology as a warning system and for the prevention of natural disasters. This will ensure capital inflow and investments to disaster-prone areas continue flourishing,” Maarif stated. Only in 2011 the Asia-Pacific region suffered around US$294 billion in losses from disasters, a…

Publishing date 29/08/2013

The website Futuregov Asia reported that the Philippines are planning to improve their disaster mitigation efforts by adopting an Indonesian mapping and planning tool: "The Department of Science and Technology revealed plans to adopt InaSAFE, a disaster mitigation technology from Indonesia, to its Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazard (NOAH) project in a bid to improve disaster planning and preparedness in the country. InaSAFE, or Indonesia Scenario Assessment for Emergency, is an open source software that produces realistic natural hazard impact scenarios to help decision makers in their disaster planning, preparedness and response activities.

It combines data from various authoritative sources to provide insights into the likely impacts of future disaster events. The software is focused on examining, in detail; the impacts by a single hazard would have on specific sectors. It gives users a heightened situational…

Publishing date 27/05/2013

On the sidelines of the fiftieth session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the Committee of the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, which took place in Vienna, Austria from 11 - 22 February 2013, UN-SPIDER signed agreements with two new partners to establish Regional Support Offices (RSO).

On 12 February 2013, during the 4th annual UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices meeting, the official signing ceremony for the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) was held making ICIMOD the fourteenth RSO. ICIMOD is a regional intergovernmental learning and knowledge sharing centre serving the eight regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayas – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and Pakistan – and based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The…

Publishing date 25/02/2013

Heavy seasonal rain swept across Indonesia during the days between 17 and 19 January 2013. Subsequently, Indonesia's capital Jakarta has been affected by heavy floods.

On 30 January, 2013 the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" was activated for inundations in the city. The mechanism was triggered by USGS on behalf of BPPT Indonesia to provide space data of the affected areas.

An estimated 50% of the city has been inundated, with flood waters almost rising as high as four meters in some areas. Thousands of people have been evacuated. At least 15 people were reported killed, and a state of emergency was declared. The inundation has resulted in many roads being blocked and residential and commercial properties closed.

Publishing date 01/02/2013

More than 1,200 participants including 49 Government Ministers and high level delegates from Asia will meet on Tuesday, 23th of October in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, at the Fifth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR). The Conference is the first gathering of Asian Government Ministers to consider a successor to the world's first comprehensive agreement on disaster risk reduction, the "Hyogo Framework for Action (2005-2015): Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters".

The Conference will examine how to scale up action at local level and discuss the nature of a new post-2015 agreement based on the region's experience to date. The main themes of conference are: integrating local level disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into national development plans; assessing local risk and financing; and strengthening local risk governance and partnership. Among the main outcomes of the Conference will be a final declaration…

Publishing date 22/10/2012

UN-SPIDER is organizing a side event at the 5th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) scheduled to take place in Yogyakarta, Indonesia from 22 to 26 of October 2012. The side event "Improve DRR Practices based on the Lessons Learned from Major Disasters in Asia - A Space Technology Intervention" will mainly look at three recent disasters in Asia: Japan Tsunami in 2011, Pakistan Floods and China Yusu Earthquake 2010. During these disaster events the importance of space-based information for managing the situation became apparent. The session will bring out lessons learned and provide inputs to prepare for such disasters. Thus, the session will focus on gaps in preparedness, early warning and emergency response and how these gaps can be filled with the help of space technology. The session will provide experience-based guidance to the disaster managers to improve DRR practices by incorporating space technologies.

The session objectives are to learn…

Publishing date 11/10/2012

The Indonesian government will host the Fifth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in October as the region counts the cost of record-breaking disaster losses over the last year. More than 1,000 participants, including government Ministers and high-level representatives from 60 countries will gather in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, at the Conference, October 22-25, to discuss how local policies and practices can make their communities safer against disasters.

Indonesia made disaster risk reduction a national priority following the 2004 Asian tsunami. “As a country which has experienced so many natural hazards, Indonesia is proud to host this important event and to share with other countries its experience in disaster risk reduction because we know that prevention pays,” said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of Indonesia, who was officially appointed Global Champion for Disaster Risk Reduction by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon last November.…

Publishing date 03/07/2012

South-East Asian countries have unveiled a regional centre to coordinate disaster management, with an emphasis on amassing and improving knowledge on disaster science.

The ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) launched the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre) last month (27 January).

Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, the centre will connect all disaster management agencies in the region and provide warning of disasters by linking up early warning systems.

The centre will also gather natural disaster data — such as disaster vulnerability maps — scattered across the region, and develop new technologies to predict and deal with disasters.

For example, Ridwan Djamaluddin, deputy head of technology for natural resources development at Indonesia's Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology — the AHA Centre's host agency — told SciDev.Net that the centre will use…

Publishing date 14/02/2011

On October 25th 2010, an earthquake followed by a devastating tsunami struck the Mentawai Islands, a group of four large islands – Siberut, Sipora, Pagai Utara and Pagai Seletan - situated off the western coast of Sumatra in Indonesia.

A TSF team was immediately deployed to Indonesia from its regional base in Bangkok, Thailand, at the request of the Office of the President of Indonesia and in coordination with the Indonesian government’s disaster management agency (BNPB). TSF deployment was facilitated by ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

In addition to the immediate assistance provided after the disaster, TSF worked in partnership with the European Commission (ECHO) to reinforce the islands’ disaster response system by providing emergency telecom kits to local relief organizations and training them in its use. The Mentawai Islands are located in one of the world’s most disaster-prone regions and any improvement to the communication system will…

Publishing date 03/02/2011

Since its latest series of deadly eruptions, Java’s Mt Merapi has been spewing volcanic ash clouds into the air. Satellite data are crucial for assessing the eruption’s danger to air traffic and public safety.

Mt Merapi began erupting on 26 October and has killed more than 200 people. Numerous international flights in and out of the Indonesia area have been cancelled due to ash clouds.

Satellites help VAACs by providing information on ash and the trace gases, such as sulphur dioxide, erupting into the atmosphere.

ESA sends sulphur dioxide email alerts in near-real time. A map around the location of the sulphur dioxide peak is put on a dedicated web page, provided in the email.

Source: ESA



Publishing date 18/01/2011

UN-SPIDER was invited recently to participate and contribute to two major meetings in the Asia Pacific region: The first meeting was the 2nd Joint Project Team Meeting for Sentinel Asia Step 2 which brought together over 100 participants from 44 organisations from 18 countries, including new members from Central Asia and which was held in Bali, Indonesia from 15th to 17th July.

Then the following week UN-SPIDER participated in the 13th session of the Intergovernmental Consultative Committee on the Regional Space Applications Programme for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific which was organised by ESCAP and which was attended by participants from the region as well as from International Organizations. The conclusions and recommendations included the need for a regional disaster management support platform on space-based information sharing and analysis. UN-SPIDER will be taking a leading role in the establishment and operation of this proposed platform.

Publishing date 15/09/2009

The Asia and Oceania regions are frequently affected by severe natural phenomena such as tropical cyclones, torrential monsoons, volcanic eruptions, yellow sandstorms, floods, sea ice, and wildfires. The importance of monitoring the climate and the environment is also increasing, which has prompted enhanced global interest in the field.

In this area, the new generation of meteorological and earth observation satellites provide frequent and extensive observational information for use in disaster prevention and climate monitoring/diagnostics; they are indispensable in today’s world. The Asia/Oceania Meteorological Satellite Users’ Conferences provide an excellent forum for satellite operators and users within the Asia/Oceania community to meet and enhance their joint efforts in the utilization of satellite data and products for better weather, climate, and disaster mitigation services.
  • Promoting satellite…