UN-SPIDER Bonn International Conference: “Space-based Solutions for Disaster Management in Africa: Networks and Information Technologies in times of crisis”

UN-SPIDER/ZFL Bonn International Conference 2021

United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER)

Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces of the University of Bonn (ZFL)

Tue, Nov 16 - Thu, Nov 18 2021

The UN-SPIDER programme of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) of the University of Bonn successfully concluded the UN-SPIDER Bonn International Conference: “Space-based Solutions for Disaster Management in Africa: Networks and Information Technologies in times of crisis”. The virtual conference brought together more than 130 experts and participants from African, Asian, and European institutions to take note of novel applications developed by the space community to contribute to disaster management efforts, and advances by African and European institutions on the use of satellite technologies in their activities.

The conference, held from 16 to 18 November, was opened by the Director of UNOOSA, Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo, who noted the need to address the challenges posed by hydrometeorological hazards using space technologies.  Opening remarks were also provided by senior officers of the Africa and GMES programme of the African Union Commission (AUC) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), and by representatives of the Rwanda Space Agency (RSA) and the National Disaster Management Centre of South Africa NDMC).

The conference included 29 presentations and a panel on capacity building efforts. Presentations were made by space agencies from Algeria, Germany and Rwanda. Additional presentations were made by disaster management agencies from Gambia and South Africa, and other government agencies from Mozambique and Nigeria.  Other presentations were made by experts from several organizations of the United Nations, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), and the Fraunhofer Institute for Technological Trend Analysis.  The conference also included presentations by the private companies Airbus Defence and Space, Microsoft Corporation and Maydai AI.  The academic sector was represented by experts from the African Regional Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in English Language (ARCSSTE-E), DimTEC of the University of the Free State of South Africa, EO College of the University of Gena, the Ruhr Bochum University of Germany and the Institute for Environment and Human Security of the United Nations University (UNU-EHS).   Presentations were also made by three UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices: the Beyond Centre of Excellence of the National Observatory of Athens, the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

During the discussion sessions, participants recognized the needs to continue awareness raising efforts regarding novel technologies, to carry out capacity building efforts recognizing different target audiences and using the modality of training or trainers, to enhance synergies between academia and government agencies engaged in disaster management activities, and to carry out simulations and table top exercises to explore how best to use novel technologies developed by the space community and the private sector.

More information and details can be found in the Report or Technical Background documents.

Presentations

Opening Segment and Keynote Presentations

  • Welcome remarks by the Director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
  • Presentation by the Space Agency at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on its activities and the Space 2030 Agenda: space as a driver of sustainable development (Presentation)
  • Presentation by the Africa & GMES programme of the African Union Commission
  • Presentation by the National Disaster Management Centre of South Africa (Presentation)
  • Presentation by the Rwandan Space Agency

Session 1: Floods and Storm Surges

  • Presentation by Center of the Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on Strengthening the use of Copernicus data and services for flood prediction and monitoring in African countries (Presentation)
  • Presentation by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) on the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS) (Presentation)
  • Presentation by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) (Presentation)
  • Presentation by the Gambia National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) (Presentation)
  • Presentation by the National Meteorological Institute of Mozambique (INAM) (Presentation)
  • Presentation by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on the Use of Artificial Intelligence to map floods (Presentation)

Session 2: Forest Fires

  • Presentation by Beyond Centre of Excellence (NOA), Greece, on the use of space technologies for forest fires risk prediction and monitoring in Greece (Presentation)
  • Presentation by the Algerian Space Agency (ASAL) on the use of space technologies in Algerian forest fires. (Presentation)
  • Presentation by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) on the Global Wildfire Information System (GWIS) (Presentation)
  • Presentation by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on Monitoring fire emissions and air quality using CAMS
  • Presentation by the Fraunhofer Institute for Technological Trend Analysis on the FIRELOGUE project: addressing forest fires through supporting and coordinating Innovation Actions (Presentation)
  • Presentation by UN-SPIDER on using GWIS for the Sendai Indicator on impacts of forest fires (Presentation)

Session 3: Capacity Building and Emergency Response Mechanisms

  • Panel on Capacity Building
    • UNU-ViE, UNU-EHS
    • Ruhr Bochum University, Germany
    • EO College, University of Jena, Germany
    • Africa Regional Center for Space Science and Technology Education in English Language (ARCSSTE-E)
    • DiMTEC South Africa
  • Presentation by the International Charter Space and Major Disasters (Presentation)
  • Presentation by Copernicus on its Emergency Management Service (Presentation)

Session 4: Drought

  • Presentation by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD): Confronting droughts
  • Presentation by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) on its Agricultural Stress System Index (ASIS) (Presentation)
  • Presentation by Airbus Defence & Space
  • Presentation by International Water Management Institute (IWMI) (Presentation)
  • Presentation by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) on Global Drought Observatory (GDO) (Presentation)
  • Presentation by Center of the Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL): Remote Sensing for agricultural drought monitoring and assessment: Results from the GlobeDrought project

Session 5: Innovative Tools

  • ARCSSTE-E: Multi-scale Flood Monitoring and Assessment Services for West Africa (MiFMASS)
  • Mayday.ai: Real-Time & Near-real-time information services for disaster management
  • UN-SPIDER: Decision Support System for Forest Fires (Presentation)
  • UNU-EHS: CLIMADA for estimation of economic losses (Presentation)
  • Microsoft AI for Good (Presentation)
English
Attachment Size
Agenda (94.81 KB) 94.81 KB
Report (396.04 KB) 396.04 KB
Technical Background (2.75 MB) 2.75 MB