Federal University of Santa Maria Logo. Image: University of Santa Maria.

The Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM) has become the newest member of the network of UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices, which now consists of 24 institutions around the world. The agreement between the University and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) was signed on 27 May 2020 and is valid for three years. UFSM’s main campus is located in the city of Santa Maria, Brazil. The University also operates three additional campuses in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.

Since 2014, experts from the University have taken part in UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Missions to countries in Latin America and developed Recommended Practices that have been published on the UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal, and have conducted training courses on these and other Recommended Practices in the Dominican Republic, Central America and South America on behalf of UN-SPIDER. Therefore, the agreement lays a... read more

Publishing Date: 17/06/2020
Regional Support Offices mentioned:
Image of the tailings dam flood on 30 January acquired by Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8. Image: NASA.

The International Charter “Space and Major Disasters” has been activated for floods in Brazil following the collapse of a mining dam. The activation was requested by the Brazilian Disaster and Risk Management National Centre (CENAD). The country’s Ministry of Regional Development is acting as project manager for the activation.

A dam at an iron ore mine in the south-eastern town of Brumadinho collapsed, releasing a torrent of tailings. The large volume of sludge that spilled out of the dam then swept south west to Paraopeba River, burying the site’s cafeteria where workers were eating, as well as nearby homes and vehicles. The mud has reached a depth of 50 ft in some areas. According to media reports, 134 people were killed in the event, while another 199 are still missing.

... read more

Publishing Date: 25/01/2019
Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured false-color images of the State of Rio Grande Du Sul  in 2007 Image: NASA

The International Charter “Space and Major Disasters” has been activated for floods in Brazil by the Brazilian Disaster and Risk Management National Centre (CENAD). The country’s Ministry of National Integration is acting as project manager for the activation.

Mudslides and floods triggered by sudden rain over the western area of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul have caused the Ibirapuita, Ibicui and Uruguai rivers to break their banks and cause widespread flooding.

The rains have swept away entire neighbourhoods in a mountainous tourist area near RioMetSul Meteorologia reported 497mm of rainfall in 72 hours in the state of Uruguaiana.

Over 2000 people have been displaced and moved to temporary accommodation as the floods damaged houses, blocked roads and water supplies were disrupted.

Local reports say the flooding peak in the city of Algrete was... read more

Publishing Date: 14/01/2019
The China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-04 can cover areas of China's size (Image: NASA)

The China-Brazil Earth Resource Satellite-04 (CBERS-04), an Earth observation satellite jointly developed by both countries, was put into operation on Tuesday, July 13, after its launch on December 7. 

Developed by China's Academy of Space Technology and Brazil's National Institution of Space Research, the CBERS-04 can cover areas as big as China in 26 days and will be used to monitor geological disasters and estimate crops, among others. Its predecessor, the CBERS-03 was already launched from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center on December 9, 2013, but did not reach the proper... read more

Publishing Date: 15/07/2015
The Solimoes River, a branch of the Amazon River in northern Brazil, has caused major floods in the Amazonas state (Image: Catedral Verde - Floresta Amazonica)

The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated on 11 June 2015 at 21:37:56 (UTC+02:00) due to major floods in northern Brazil.

The mechanism was triggered by the Brazilian Disaster and Risk Management National Centre – CENAD, once the situation became unsustainable in the Amazonas state. The Solimoes River, one of the two main branches of the Amazon River in northern Brazil, overflowed in early June as a result of constant heavy rains since April.

Despite the common flooding occurring during this time of the year, this season has brought excessively high water levels that have caused an unusual disaster. This is one of the most extensive floods the country has experienced in recent years, having affected over 250,000 people.

In... read more

Publishing Date: 16/06/2015
The Jaguari Reservoir near São Paulo in February 2015

For three years south eastern and eastern Brazil has been experiencing one of its worst droughts in a century and satellite images captured by Landsat-8 in the first months of 2015 do not bring any hope.  

The recent rainy season, from November to March, has not brought any drought relief and the region is already 100 to 200 millimeters (4 to 8 inches) below normal rainfall. One of the biggest reservoir systems, supplying water to half of the people in São Paulo, is only at about 10 percent of its capacity.

News and advocacy sources have attributed the depleted drinking water supply to a combination of unusual weather conditions and ... read more

Publishing Date: 10/03/2015
Satellite image of the Amazon

Chinese and Brazilian officials have announced their intention to deepen their cooperation in satellite development and applications. The space-based collaboration between both nations has already been fruitful in various fields, including remote sensing and Earth observation.

The announcement came as part of a bilateral meeting on space collaboration between both nations held in Beijing, China. During the meeting,... read more

Publishing Date: 16/12/2014
The Indian RESOURCESAT-2 provides remote sensing data

At the sidelines of the Sixth BRICS Summit, India and Brazil signed an agreement on 16 July 2014 which will facilitate Brazilian earth stations to receive and process data from Indian Remote Sensing satellites (IRS), as Geospatial World reported.

In his official statement, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid out the details of the agreement: "This Implementing Arrangement provides for the reception of data from AWiFS and LISS-III payloads of IRS satellites, including but not limited to the Resourcesat-2 at... read more

Publishing Date: 18/07/2014
Aerial view of Rio grande do Sul during a previous flood occurred in 2009

On 4 July 2014, the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated at the request of the Brazilian Disaster Risk Management National Centre (CENAD) in order to provide satellite-based maps in response to flooding caused by torrential rainfall which had started on 26 June.

Two people have died, an... read more

Publishing Date: 08/07/2014
Image of Parana River Flood Plane

On 14 June 2014 the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated at the request of the Brazilian Disaster Risk Management National Centre (CENAD) in response to flooding and landslides caused by heavy rainfall from 07 and 10 of June 2014 affecting the states of Santa Catarina and Parana.

Due to the flooding and landslides ten people have died and six are still reported as missing, an estimated 40,000 people have been evacuated and 130 cities... read more

Publishing Date: 17/06/2014
The flooding is taking place in the state of Rodonia on the border with Bolivia

The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated on 21 March 2014 to provide satellite image products in support of the response efforts for floods in the northern regions of Brazil. The mechanism was triggered by the Brazilian Disaster and Risk Management National Centre (CENAD).

The... read more

Publishing Date: 24/03/2014
Satellite imagery shows extreme rainfall in Brazil

December 2013 was a record rainfall month for many states in Brazil. By December, 27 at least seven cities have set new records for the most rain received during a single month, according to the Brazil’s National Meteorology Institute (INMET). The city of Aimores, in the state of Minas Gerais, received more than 400 percent of the average December rainfall.

Satellite-based measurements of... read more

Publishing Date: 07/01/2014

On 20-22 June 2012 world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet to get to the future we want at the Rio+20 Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. UNOOSA will be organising the following side-event:

Tuesday 19 June 2012 - 17:15 - 18:45 NEW TIME
Meeting Room P3-3  NEW MEETING ROOM RioCentro - Rio de Janeiro

This side-event is being organised by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) together with the Governments of Austria and Brazil.  The focus will be on space and its contributions that would lead to a convergence on the use of space based technologies for sustainable development and assist in identifying the next actions that would embrace Rio... read more

Publishing Date: 17/05/2012

Brazil urged Japan to collaborate in the field of disaster prevention using satellite technology. The proposal was put forth by Brazil’s Minister... read more

Publishing Date: 06/02/2012

As the UN marked World Food Day earlier this week, international representatives convened in Korea to discuss ways to curb the loss of productive land to desertification. Satellites play an important role in the monitoring and assessment of drylands.

Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. It is caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations because dryland ecosystems are extremely vulnerable to over-exploitation, inappropriate land use and droughts.

This phenomenon has severely affected the livelihoods of farmers around the globe, causing food insecurity in many areas. Satellites have the capability to detect desertification and have seen active land degradation trends even in Europe.

Findings were presented at the 10th Conference of the Parties to the... read more

Publishing Date: 24/10/2011

Brazil — As the state’s largest natural disaster exercise unfolded Tuesday, the response tested the capabilities of emergency responders throughout the Wabash... read more

Publishing Date: 18/05/2011


TerraMA2 is a software product, a computational system, based on the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), which provides the technological infrastructure required to develop operational systems for environmental risks monitoring and alert. TerraMA2 provides services to gather updated data through internet and to add it to the alert system database; services to manipulate/analyse new data in real time and check if a risk situation exists by comparing with risk maps or a defined... read more

The Conference and Trade Fair for Geomatics and Geospatial Solutions is the largest and most important event of geomatics and geospatial solutions in Latin America. It is proposing a new kind of conceptual experience of interaction between speakers, debaters and participants, using a talk show model, which thereby favoring the exchange of ideas instead of long and unidirectional exhibits.

Another singularity of the event is the way the program was set out, elaborated from intensive surveys in the community sector. This contact is permanent through social networks, visitors to the portal, magazine subscribers and participants of the dozens of events and webinars already organized by MundoGEO.

This year, there are several activities at the event, like informative courses, forums, seminars, workshops, with topics like... read more

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