United Nations International Expert Meeting on the Global Partnership on Space Technology Applications for Disaster Risk Reduction

United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs / UN-SPIDER

German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V.)

Thu, 1 Dec - Fri, 2 Dec 2016

Global Partnership on Space Technology Applications for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP STAR) is a global partnership that was launched at the third World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai in 2015. It is committed to fostering better and more integrated use of space-based technologies in disaster risk reduction efforts around the world. The partnership conducted its first meeting in Bonn, Germany from 25 to 28 May 2015.

The International Expert Meeting in December 2016 built upon the efforts carried out to contribute to the implementation of the Sendai framework. It provided decision-makers from the disaster management community with guidance on the use of space technology applications in combination with local, in-situ data for better disaster-risk visualisation. The meeting also promoted the use of Earth Observation to track and identify ways to manage climate-related extreme events, e.g. floods, storms or droughts. Lastly, the objective of the meeting was to contribute to the implementation of the partnership through agreements regarding terms of reference of the partnership, the plan of work for the upcoming years, recommendations and suggestions related to the use of space-based applications and geospatial information in disaster risk management and a plan of action for the upcoming Global Platform in Cancun, Mexico in May 2017. 

The meeting was attended by 31 experts and professionals from the Member states. The programme of activities was developed by UN-SPIDER and DLR. It consisted of five sessions which included presentations, plenary discussions and closing remarks. Keynote presentations were delivered by representatives from DLR and UN-SPIDER.

The presentations can be found below. 

Conference sessions

Session 1: Setting the scene

The first session presented the efforts conducted by the space community in the areas of disaster risk reduction and emergency response, the GEO-DARMA initiative, the UNISPACE+50 process conducted by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) as a way to shape Space2030 and also efforts conducted by disaster management agencies such as the DMC of Sri Lanka regarding the use of geospatial technologies to assess and map risks.

Session 2: View of partners

This session allowed partners to share their views regarding the mission of the GP-STAR, potential projects and activities which could be conducted by the partnership, outcomes and potential roles that the institutions could take in the context of the partnership. 

Session 3: Towards the plan of work

This session discussed and agreed on the plan of work for the coming years. The partners emphasized the notion that the partnership should be user oriented; it should provide conceptual guidance based on Sendai Framework and user-needs. The Partners agreed on the conduction of six initiatives targeting different topics. 

Session 4: Next Global Platform Session

On this session, it was agreed that partners will approach the organisers of the Global Platform Session to request the conduction of a side event in order to disseminate the objectives of GP-STAR, its work plan and outcomes and to provide visibility to the activities of its partners. 

Session 5: Terms of References

The fifth session focused on the review of the terms of reference that had been suggested by UN-SPIDER and partners in the previous session in May 2015. The terms of reference include the description of the overall aim and the objectives of the partnership; guidelines on membership, including procedures to accept new institutional members, the organizational structure, governance, as well as a segment on meetings of the partnership.  


Welcome remarks

Mr. Villagrán, Head UN-SPIDER Bonn                                                               

Mr. Dittus, Member of the Executive Board Space Research and Technology,  German Aerospace Center (DLR) 

Mr. Villagrán (Head UN-SPIDER Bonn): Efforts by UN-SPIDER


Stéphane Chalifoux(CEOS): Efforts by Space agencies - CEOS WG Disaster


Günter Strunz, Jens Danzeglocke, Christiane Lechtenbörger(DLR): Efforts by DLR


 Srimal Samansiri(DMC): Efforts by Civil Protection Agencies - DMC



Peter Zeil (IWG-SEM): Objectives and goals of International Working Group for Satellite-based Emergency Mapping Download
Utchang Kang and Daniel Tsegai (UNCCD): Overall goals of United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in the partnershipDownload
Maria Eugenia Soto (CEPREDENAC): Central American concept of Vulnerabilities and HazardsDownload
Szarzynski Joerg, Valerie Graw, Olena Dubovyk (EVIDENZ): Drought risk reduction at the national level and Indicators.Download
Dr Giriraj Amarnath (IWMI): IWMI’s role in all phases of  water-related disaster risk management floods and droughtDownload

Vanessa Aellen (GEO): 8 Societal benefit areas of GEO  and DRR within GEO

Lena Halounová (ISPRS): International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Download
Julio César Castillo Urdapilleta (AEM): Mexican Space AgencyDownload
Alasdair Hainsworth(WMO): WMO PerspectivesDownload

Abdul MUHARI, PhD, Shunichi KOSHIMURA,Prof. Dr(The Sentinel Asia-Tsunami Working Group)



Working plan for the Global Partnership on Space Technology Applications for Disaster Risk ReductionDownload


Side event application at Global Platform Session, Cancun, Mexico, May 2017 (agreed by partners)Download


Terms of  Reference for the Global Partnership using Space-based technology applications for disaster risk reduction  GP-STAR

Annexes of partners(agreed by partners)Download


Point of Contact


Joachim Post (Mr.)


Office for Outer Space Affairs

UN Campus Bonn

Tel: +49 (0) 228 815 0676

Fax:  +49 (0) 228 815 0699

E-mail: joachim.post [at] unoosa.org

Organizations of the United Nations system, members of the space community, the disaster risk management and the emergency response communities, academic institutions and internationally active private companies