In recent years, Paraguay has experienced severe floods, droughts and forest fires which impacted communities and their livelihoods. The Paraguayan Space Agency (AEP), established in 2014, supported the National Emergency Secretariat (SEN) in disaster response efforts through the generation of relevant space-based information and as project manager in two activations of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters.
To enhance its capacities to generate relevant space-based information in a timely manner, and to continue promoting the use of space-based information and space technologies in disaster management applications, the Paraguayan Space Agency requested UN-SPIDER to carry out a technical advisory mission. The mission, carried out from 21 to 25 November 2022, included institutional visits to SEN, the National Forestry Institute (INFONA), and other government agencies, as well as courtesy visits to the WMO regional office for the American Hemisphere, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the UN country office.
The mission was carried out with the support of experts from INPE and the Federal University of Santa Maria from Brazil, CONAE from Argentina, and IGAC from Colombia. The experts provided suggestions to AEP, SEN, and other government agencies on how to take advantage of the opportunities made available by the space community. For example, the expert from INPE raised awareness regarding the high-resolution satellite imagery available for Paraguay from the joint Chinese/Brazilian satellite CBERS 4a. Together with staff of the GeoLAB of AEP, the expert generated a 2-meter resolution map of Asuncion City and a 55-meter resolution map of the Republic of Paraguay. The Brazilian software TerraView, developed by experts at INPE, was used to generate these products.
The mission took note that several government agencies are using space-based information in their tasks, and the interest on behalf of other government agencies to continue using space-based information and technologies. Most institutions recognized the need for capacity building efforts to enhance their capacities to make use of such technologies.