Myanmar - Institutional Strengthening Mission

As part of the technical advisory support it provides to countries worldwide, UN-SPIDER carried out an Institutional Strengthening Mission to Myanmar from 11 to 15 March 2019 upon the request of the government. This activity was jointly organized by UN-SPIDER and the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat), under auspices of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettle­ment (MSWRR) of Myanmar. It was hosted by the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC). 


Mon, 11/03/2019 to Fri, 15/03/2019

Host Institution: 

Emergency Operation Centre (EOC)


Main Hazards: 

Mission Team: 

Representatives from UN-SPIDER, the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat), the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettle­ment (MSWRR) of Myanmar, the Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP), the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Maxar.

Mission Profile: 

The mission was a follow-up activity to the UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) conducted in March 2012 that assessed the use of space-derived information in all aspects of disaster management and provided recommendations to strengthen the disaster risk management and emergency response in Myanmar. Before this follow-up activity, UN-SPIDER organized three such activities and offered capacity building programmes on “Geo-informatics for Disaster Risk Management in Myanmar” in November 2012, “Use of Earth Observation Data and GIS Techniques for Landslide Hazard Mapping” in June 2016 and “Post Disaster (Earthquake) Rapid Damage Assessment” in March 2017.

During the five-day mission, UN-SPIDER held a high-level advocacy meeting at ministerial level and carried out two training programmes, one for 25 officials of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) of MSWRR and one for 25 officials from key line ministries.

Mission Outcome: 

The training for DDM staff provided an overview of the use of space technology in disaster risk management, the International Charter “Space and Major Disasters” and coordination during an emergency situation. The course strengthened the skills of EOC and DDM staff in analyzing maps and making use of emergency response maps produced as part of International Charter activations.

The training for officials from key line ministries was more comprehensive and covered a wide range of theory and hands-on session for using Earth observation technologies and tools for flood and earthquake disaster response.

The five-day-long institutional strengthening mission improved the capacity of using space-based technologies for sustainable development and disaster management of more than 50 participants and deepened the engagement of UN-SPIDER with MSWRR, EOC, United Nations agencies and other stakeholders in the country.

Disaster type: 

Participating UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office: 

GEM Africa Risk Model provides insights to seismic hazard across the continent

Rice paddies in Rwanda. Image: A'Melody Lee / World Bank.

Release earlier this year at the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction 2019, the Africa Earthquake Model paints a complete picture of earthquake risk to the continent in terms of damage to buildings and direct human and economic losses. The model lays out the African portion of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation global maps released in December 2018. 


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 14/10/2019 - 16:32

New studies use machine learning models to predict earthquakes

Synthetic aperature radar patterns of seismic deformations associated with a model earthquake on the San Francisco section of the San Andreas Fault.

Earthquakes are a major concern in increasingly populated regions, however their prediction is a difficult task. Researchers have recently made progress in the use of complex simulation and modeling techniques to better forecast the occurrences of earthquakes.


Publishing Date: 

Wed, 13/03/2019 - 09:22

Global Earthquake Model (GEM)

The GEM Foundation is a public-private partnership that drives a global collaborative effort in which science is applied to develop high-quality resources for transparent assessment of earthquake risk and to facilitate their application for risk management around the globe.


Guide Type: 






UNOOSA requests activation of International Charter for tsunami in Indonesia

In September 2018, an earthquake and tsunami hit the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia, leaving thousands dead and injured. Image: European Union 2018 / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Following a tsunami that hit coastal areas around the Sunda strait between the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java on 22 December, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has requested the activation of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters on behalf of the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) of Indonesia. LAPAN is a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office (RSO).


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 24/12/2018 - 11:12

Referenced UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office: 

New methodology to create maps for decision-making support after earthquakes

Coseismic displacement field from InSAR and GPS data. Image: Remote Sens. 2018, 10(6), 899;

Spanish and Ecuadorian researchers have developed a new methodology to estimate faults and volcanoes that can be activated in a region after an earthquake. The approach consist in evaluating changes of static stress on the surrounding faults and volcanoes and producing maps of potentially activated faults and volcanoes.

The main goal of the study is to achieve an effective transfer of knowledge and scientific techniques to non-expert users who are responsible for the management of disasters and risks.


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 05/11/2018 - 12:25

International Charter activation for earthquake in Indonesia

Logo of the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters"

The International Charter “Space and Major Disasters” has been activated on 6 August after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Lombok, Indonesia.


Publishing Date: 

Tue, 07/08/2018 - 11:58

Global Navigation Satellite Systems prove valuable for earthquake early warning

Collapsed Santa Monica Freeway bridge across La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles after the Northridge earthquake, Jan. 17, 1994. Image: Robert A. Eplett/FEMA

Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) are giving scientists in North America new insights into detecting potential earthquakes before they strike.  

Accurate early warning of earthquakes is challenging because of earthquakes’ unpredictable nature. They often strike on otherwise normal days and frequently strike with fatal force. In spite of recent advances in seismology, the prediction of earthquakes remains difficult.

Publishing Date: 

Wed, 09/05/2018 - 10:30

EMSEV 2018 - Integrating geophysical observations from ground to space for earthquake and volcano investigations

This is event is available for participation on an ongoing basis

EMSEV (Electro-Magnetic Studies of Earthquakes and Volcanoes) is an Interdisciplinary IUGG Working Group supported by IASPEI, IAGA, and IAVCEI.






17/09/2018 to 21/09/2018

Registration Deadline: 

Wed, 15/08/2018


Potenza historical city centre

Venue City: 


Venue Country: 

  • Italy

Event Organisers: 

• International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG)

Language of event: 


Study highlights uses of LiDAR for earthquake damage assessments

Collapsed building after the Kumamoto earthquake, Japan. Photo: Hyolee2/CC BY-SA 3.0

A study conducted by engineers from Tohoku University in Japan sees promising opportunities for LiDAR applications in the context of informing responders after earthquakes. The team investigated the use of LiDAR for earthquake damage assessments following two earthquakes which hit the Island of Kyushu within in 28 hours in April 2016.


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 12/03/2018 - 16:44


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