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The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) participated in two regional meetings organized by the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. The meetings discussed the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. The ISDR-Asia Partnership (IAP) Forum was convened on 11-12 December 2018 at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok with the key objectives of sharing and reviewing progress in disaster risk reduction and, in particular, implementation of the Asia Regional Plan. This meeting was followed by the Regional Consultative Workshop on Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies: Attaining the Sendai Framework Target ‘E’ on National and Local DRR Strategies, which took place 13-14 December 2018. The consultative workshop aimed to develop better understanding of how DRR strategies can be developed and leveraged as policy tools to manage disaster risk.

... read more
Publishing Date: 18/12/2018

The Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre recently signed an agreement with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs to become a Regional Support Office of the UN-SPIDER programme.  For three decades ADPC has been devoting efforts to provide technical advisory support to countries in Asia and Asia Pacific in the topics of disaster risk reduction, preparedness, disaster response and recovery.

Established in 1986, ADPC is as an independent regional organization. It works in a number of countries in the Asia region including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi-Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam. With headquarters located in Bangkok, Thailand, ADPC has country offices in Bangladesh and Myanmar. ADPC's well-established networks with government line agencies and strong partnerships with regional organizations and development agencies provide... read more

Publishing Date: 04/06/2016
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Asia-Pacific is the most disaster-prone region of the world (Image: UN).

This year’s Asia Pacific Disaster Report 2015 – 'Disasters without borders: regional resilience for sustainable development', released by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), provides an overview of disaster-risk resilience in the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, the report introduces new emerging risks for the region and its different sectors. 

The report focalizes on cross-border disasters, among them earthquakes, droughts, tropical cyclones and floods, which can be only effectively dealt with cooperation. The ESCAP Executive Secretary Shamshad Akhtar stated, “Ours is the most disaster-prone region, so building resilience is not a choice, but rather a collective imperative (…) Disaster risk reduction is a core development priority of Asia and the Pacific.”

Besides cross-border disasters, the Asia-Pacific Disaster Report 2015 highlights specific areas of disaster... read more

Publishing Date: 02/11/2015
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
Asia is the world's most disaster-prone region of the world

Recognizing the importance of space-based information for disaster risk reduction, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency JAXA jointly organised the meeting "Policy Makers Dialogue and Capacity Development for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in Asia-Pacific". Taking place in Bangkok, Thailand from 23 to 25 September 2014, the event attracted policy makers from disaster risk reduction and management, stakeholders and authorities dealing with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), space technology and Geographical Information System (GIS) applications as well as experts on innovative technologies, UN agencies and private sector representatives.

Under the theme "Harnessing Information and Space Technology and Geographical Information System... read more

Publishing Date: 30/09/2014
Conference on Disaster Risk Management

Recognizing the achievements of the 2005-2015 Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) and development of the post 2015 framework for disaster risk reduction (HFA2), members of the Delegations attending the Sixth Asian Ministerial Conference of Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) issued a declaration to governments and stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific.

In the Bangkok Declaration, the Delegations call for governments and stakeholders to enhance resilience at the local level, improve spending and investment in Disaster and climate risk management, encourage a shift in the private sector from response oriented practices to a prevention mindset, promote innovation, science, and technology, improve the transparency of and accountability of governance, and build coherence between the framework and processes for sustainable development and climate change.  

The UN Secretary-General for... read more

Publishing Date: 27/06/2014
The pre-conference event highlighted the usefulness of space technologies

UN-SPIDER and World Bank's Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) successfully organized a pre-conference event of the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in Bangkok. The event entitled "Investing in Geospatial and space-based information to support Disaster Risk Reduction & Climate Change Adaptation investment" was held on 22 June at the Bangkok Convention Center.

Over 55 international participants attended the event. Seven presentations were held including from UN-SPIDER, ICIMOD, ADRC, and JAXA. Country experiences from Indonesia and China were presented. The participants also discussed on the topic "How Earth Observation can be reflected well in HFA2 framework". The participants agreed that every country should have access to geospatial information and that space technologies should be mainstreamed in disaster risk reduction processes. The need for capacity building in order to allow national disaster risk... read more

Publishing Date: 23/06/2014
UN-SPIDER and GFDRR will organize a pre-conference event at the 6th AMCDRR

UN-SPIDER invites participants of 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in Bangkok to attend the pre-conference event organised by the UN-SPIDER and the World Bank's Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) on 22 June 2014 (09:00-12:30).

The event title is "Investing in Geospatial and space-based information to support DRR & CCA investment", which will contribute to subtheme 2 of AMCDRR: Improving Public Investments for Disaster and Climate Risk Management to Protect and Sustain Development Gains.

The objectives of pre-conference event are

  • to generate awareness about the importance of investment in geospatial and space-based information support for DRR and CCA
  • to demonstrate best practices from the countries that have leveraged/used geospatial and satellite-... read more
Publishing Date: 30/04/2014
Participants of the ISDR Asia Platform (IAP) meeting in Bangkok

UN-SPIDER participated in the first ISDR Asia Platform (IAP) meeting of 2014, which was hosted in Bangkok, Thailand, from 22 to 24 April 2014. The meeting served mainly to discuss the preparation of the 6th Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) and inputs to Post 2015 Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (Hyogo Framework for Action 2).

During the IAP meeting, the pre-conference workshop proposed by UN-SPIDER and GFDRR (World Bank) at 6th AMCDRR was confirmed. This workshop is scheduled for 22 June at 09:00-12:30.

The meeting was also an opportunity for ISDR, ESCAP and other UN agencies to plan interventions to ensure that Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is well reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Additionally, UN-SPIDER... read more

Publishing Date: 30/04/2014
Severe flooding affected large stretches of Thailand’s Chao Phraya River

The South Asia region is especially prone to flooding. Annually, flooding takes hundred of lives and causes damages in tens of billions US dollars.

In a collaboration of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute of Thailand, sensorweb technologies are being used to enhance monitoring of flooding especially in Thailand. This technique is used for detection, early warning and analysis of high resolution imagery.

Using MODIS imagery the system is able to automatically detect flooding areas. In partnership with other automatic and semi automatic tools information about the spread and depth of surface water is analyzed and forwarded to appropriate disaster response points of contact. Depending on the timing and the sensor used the whole process of detection and delivery can take from one to several days.

Future plans include integrating in-situ data sources and hydrological models as well as additional sensors such as ASTER.

Publishing Date: 06/12/2013

From 26 to 27 November 2013, UN-SPIDER participated in the 17th Session of the Intergovernmental Consultative Committee (ICC) on the Regional Space Applications Programme for Sustainable Development (RESAP) in Bangkok, Thailand. The meeting provided an overview of the work progress of RESAP during 2012-2013 and work plan for 2014-2015. It also discussed how to implement a Regional cooperative mechanism for disaster monitoring and early warning called ‘Drought Mechanism’.

The Drought Mechanism is now supported by two service nodes, ISRO (India) and National Remote Sensing Agency (China), which will provide data and technology. Mongolia and Sri Lanka have been selected as the pilot countries to implement the Drought Mechanism, although Malaysia and Philippines have also volunteered during this ICC meeting. 

UN-SPIDER also took part in the back-to-back High Level Decision Makers Meeting (HLDM) on Implementing the Asia-Pacific Year held on 28 and 29 November 2013 in... read more

Publishing Date: 04/12/2013
Fires in Burma, Thailand and Laos seen from Space.

Future.gov reported that the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have formally agreed to adopt the haze monitoring system and share satellite data to help locate fires.

The $100,000 monitoring system developed in Singapore will be implemented in Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei and Thailand. By comparing high resolution imagery with land use and concession maps of fire-prone areas, the system will help locate fires.

Publishing Date: 11/10/2013

Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi has ordered northern provincial authorities to use satellite surveillance to monitor bushfires and cut down on haze pollution. He said satellite imagery was the most accurate tool to detect bushfire hotspots and should form an integral part of the government's campaign to reduce haze pollution in the North.

"Every province is required to survey fire hotspots on a daily basis, be it in forests, communities or agricultural areas," Mr Plodprasop said on 3 February 2013 during a visit to Lampang province.

In January 2013, the government launched a 100-day bushfire and haze surveillance campaign that will end on April 30. The campaign aims to eradicate the "burning culture" in the North to ward off the annual haze crisis. Nine northern provinces—Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phrae, Phayao and Tak—are considered high-risk areas for bushfires and haze pollution.

The government's... read more

Publishing Date: 04/02/2013

Thailand has invested in the concept of the sensor web, creating an interoperable environment for a diverse set of satellite and ground sensors with connectivity to the Internet in order to better understand physical phenomena. The country has deployed a forest fire sensor web and flood sensor web, in addition to the ability to tap observations from its citizens. These initiatives are tightly coupled with technology and services provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where sensor web development and deployment have been underway for years. The NASA Jet Propulsion Lab's vision for the Sensor Web aims to better understand physical phenomena, such as volcanic eruptions, fires and floods. The vison centers on the flexibility to connect to sensors to compile custom data and observations that can be delivered by Web 2.0 tools. The end goal is to make discovery and access to sensors as easy as finding and using websites.

Thailand's Fire SensorWeb monitors the current state... read more

Publishing Date: 08/03/2012

Poramate Minsiri, an internet pioneer in applying technology to disaster relief, is setting up interactive maps for monitoring natural disasters.

Calling the effort Team Thailand, the founder of the Kapook portal and thaiflood.com also hopes the maps will eventually help keep tabs on crime in the country.

In collaboration with Google Crisis Response, the maps provide updated satellite imagery of flood-affected areas, showing infrastructure damage and helping users navigate disaster zones.

"Open data, sharing of the digital elevation model and integration of problem solving are key factors in managing natural disasters," said Mr Poramate, known as @iWhale on Twitter.

Team Thailand's website address is http://teamthailand.kapook.com. The maps will eventually provide critical information for the country beyond floods or natural disasters.

Mr Poramate says the website will show flood monitoring points and... read more

Publishing Date: 01/12/2011

The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) has teamed up to establish a Geo-Informatics Operation System and Satellite Data Centre as a response to the problems posed by Thailand’s worst flooding in decades.

The data centre will make use of modern Geo-Informatics technology in order for concerned government authorities to make well-informed decisions during times of natural calamities.

The MOST, Hydro and Agro Informatics Institute, Royal Irrigation Department, Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, are among the many agencies that are actively making use of satellite image maps from GISTDA as a significant tool for monitoring the effects of the recent disaster.

The data centre will make use of high resolution satellite imageries such as RADARSAT, which has the capability to penetrate cloud and haze, and optical satellite data such as THEOS, IKONOS, Quickbird, WorldView, and... read more

Publishing Date: 20/10/2011

Thailand is currently facing its worst flooding in 50 years. Flood waters have swamped more than two-thirds of the country, submerging rice fields and shutting down hundreds of factories while over 900,000 families and businesses have been impacted and hundreds of lives have been tragically lost. National relief efforts are now focused on providing essential food, clean water and shelter to displaced people and restoring damaged infrastructure to the Kingdom of Smiles.

 

Publishing Date: 17/10/2011

BANGKOK, 11 October 2011 (IRIN) - As residents across flood-ravaged Southeast Asia look up to the skies and brace for more rain, satellites 35,800km away are looking down on them.

Space technology has become a critical tool in protecting people from disasters in countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, where more than 6.5 million people have been affected by recent flooding and at least 500 have died.

The images the satellites snap and transmit back to Earth are analyzed to pinpoint and predict flooding - information that can be used to direct resources and issue evacuation orders.

It is only recently that developing countries have been able to consistently access such high-tech and costly technology, thanks to international resource-sharing, said Craig Williams, a regional information management officer with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

"Technology is not really a major limiting factor any more - it's... read more

Publishing Date: 11/10/2011

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), launched in to service a Regional Cooperative Mechanism on Drought Monitoring and Early Warning in Nanjing, China.

The Mechanism provides satellite products for general drought monitoring and higher resolution products for identified high drought risk areas, and assists its members in developing localized products and services for relevant decision making. Space capable countries in the region committed to provide satellite information based technical services through the Mechanism, to drought prone ESCAP member countries to help them achieve effective monitoring and early warning of drought events so that the Governments and relevant stakeholders will have more lead time to take measures in preventing drought hazards become major disasters.

For more information please visit:
... read more

Publishing Date: 16/09/2010

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Regional Office for Asia & Pacific organized this meeting to focus on the next cycle of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) progress reporting, HFA mid-term review and the preparation for the Fourth Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR). The meeting was attended by 19 countries from the Asia-Pacific region, and by intergovernmental organizations namely ASEAN, APEC and SOPAC, UN agencies, donors and other organizations involved in disaster risk reduction (DRR).

  The participation in the IAP meeting provided an opportunity for UN-SPIDER to contribute in the working group on HFA reporting and in the working group on the Asian Ministerial Conference. Being part of these working groups provided the opportunity to promote the use of space-based information in DRR and to ensure that space-based information is considered as an important component in all DRR related initiatives... read more
Publishing Date: 30/03/2010

UN-SPIDER visited the National Focal Points in the Kingdom of Thailand. The organizations representing the National Focal Point are the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA) and the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (Ministry of Interior). Dr. Darasri Dowreang andDr. Chaowalit Silapathong of GISTDA presented their activities focussing on the applications of THEOS satellite imagery in natural resources management and disaster risk reduction. The National Focal Point from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, Mr. Adthaporn Singhawichai, provided insight into the use of space-based information in disaster management planning in Thailand. The meeting was an opportunity to strengthen the relationship with UN-SPIDER National Focal Points and to exchange ideas regarding collaboration with those institutions.

Contact: Shirish Ravan (shirishravan [at] unoosa.org)

Publishing Date: 25/03/2010

Event

Rapid population and urbanization, combined with extreme climatic events, are causing a swift increase in the vulnerability of communities to hazardous events. Unplanned growth in both urban and non-urban areas calls for preparation to reduce the impact of disasters. There is also a great need to utilize disaster risk information to design effective coping mechanisms.

This ten-day course not only explains what spatial data is and how it is collected, but also teaches how to use data during pre- and post-disaster management, including in early warning systems and hazard-, vulnerability-, risk-, and damage assessments, and in the design of risk reduction measures. 

A course fee will be charged. Find the application form here

Risk managers agree that policies and operational planning for management of disaster risks must be based upon a better understanding of the risk.

This training course offers a structured learning experience for risk managers to be able to understand the complex process of disaster risk assessment and its tools, but much emphasis will be placed on ensuring that the participants develop comprehensive understanding of risk assessment outputs, e.g., maps and web portals, and significantly improve their knowledge on interpretation of the risk information and be able to use it in disaster risk management decision-making processes such as preparedness and mitigation planning as well as early warning and emergency response resource allocation. The training course builds upon a decade of practical experience of ADPC and its partners in implementing risk assessment projects and supporting stakeholders in using the resulting hazard, vulnerability, and risk information to make well-... read more

From 22 to 26 July 2019, the training course on Integrated Flood Risk Management (IRFM) will introduce practitioners to the key concepts of IRFM. The course is organized by and held at the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC).

Flood risk management has traditionally been focused on evacuating floodwater as soon as possible or on storing it temporarily through structural measures such as dams or levees. However, traditional flood mitigation is not always desirable or feasible. As a result, Integrated Flood Risk Management (IFRM) is gaining traction among flood risk and water management professionals. IFRM is a more integrated and comprehensive approach taking a catchment or basin perspective that includes nature-based solutions. It also rests on the principle that water management and land-use planning should combine both structural and non-structural measures to manage water and achieve flood mitigation.

The training will cover the following... read more

The International Symposium on Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development, taking place on 7 and 8 March, 2019 in Bangkok, aims at reinforcing the integration between the Natural- and the Social Science approach concerning the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR).

The Symposium is one of the initiatives of ProSPER.Net project “Disaster Resilience and Sustainable Development Education Network in Asia” lead by Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand along with the partner universities in the Asia Pacific Region.

During the two days of the programme, participants will engage in panel discussions, keynote speeches, technical sessions and academic exhibitions. The symposium will facilitate the exchange of knowledge between the participating researchers, practicioners and policy makers concerned with DRR, resilience and sustainable development. Moreover, the programme focuses... read more

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