United Nations International Conference on Disaster Risk Identification, Assessment and Monitoring

United Nations for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

Wed, 23 Oct - Fri, 25 Oct 2013

The UN-SPIDER Beijing Office is pleased to announce the “United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Management - "Disaster risk identification and response" from 23-25 October 2013. The International Training Programme “Flood Risk Mapping, Modelling and Assessment using Space technology” will be organised for 25 participants of the conference.

The UN-SPIDER Beijing Office has organised two successful conferences since 2011. Previous conferences covered the themes of “Best Practices for Risk Reduction and Rapid Response mapping” in 2011 and “Risk Assessment in the context of global climate change” in 2012. These conferences offered a forum for disaster management communities and experts to strengthen their capabilities in using space based information to identify, assess, monitor and respond to disaster risks and integrate space technology into long-term disaster risk management efforts.


Despite technological advances in the earth observation and the existance of ground-based systems for disaster prediction and monitoring, several countries face challenges to assess and reduce disaster risks. These challenges can be addressed by setting up a mechanism for identifying, assessing, monitoring and responding to disaster risks. With advances in the earth observation technology and increasing access to the space based information, several opportunities are available for disaster managers to use space technology effectively for disaster management. The conference is an opportunity to share information on latest methods, approaches and models used for identifying, assessing and reducing disaster risks. The conference will also focus on how to operationalize technological developments to address challenges at the national level by the national disaster management authorities. The sole purpose of this conference is to bring together the technologists and end users on a single platform to ensure that space-based information is effectively employed in decision making that saves life and prevents economic losses.

Conference Topics

The United Nations Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2011 (GAR 2011) confirms the countries with weak governance are likely to find it difficult to address the underlying risk drivers. The effects of climate extremes and variations pose additional challenge making these countries more susceptible to greater potential losses. Although several countries are able to use space technology to monitor and respond to floods and droughts, recent examples of floods in Pakistan (2010 and 2011), floods in Thailand (2011) and drought in Horn of Africa (2011) have proven the need of thinking beyond response efforts. The victims and economic losses from these disasters are enormous. The main opportunity for governments to control these potential losses lies in reducing vulnerability. Precise mapping of hazards combined with vulnerability provides correct understanding of disaster risk.

The earth observation technology is advancing in terms of offering satellite images of varying resolution that provides local to global coverage. As scientific organisations are making these products available on web portals, access to these value added products is improving constantly. These changing dynamics offer opportunities to strengthen disaster risk management (DRM) by making effective use of space based information, especially to understand underlying risks. The challenge is to transfer approaches, models and methodologies used in developing these products to the end users and operationalize the research outcomes to contribute in decision making.

In this context, the conference will cover the following topics:

  1. Operational initiatives/programmes/projects on disaster risk identification, assessment and monitoring
    This session will discuss proven and operational work from various countries in disaster risk identification and prevention using space-based information. The disaster managers and experts from member countries will be invited to share practical work carried out at the national and regional level focusing on the mechanisms, methods and national programmes of disaster identification and prevention with focus on space-based information.
  2. Advanced research and development in use of space based information in Disaster risk assessment
    This session will focus on latest research and development to improve on-going disaster risk identification and assessment practices. The experts from centres of excellence will be invited to share research outcomes and advanced knowledge to benefit the national disaster management programmes. The focus will be on new models, methods, approaches and data integration from multiple sources (including space based information) for disaster risk identification and assessment.
  3. Preparing for effective disaster response and rapid mapping by knowing risks
    This session will provide insight into latest practices and opportunities to monitor risks and prepare for effective disaster response. Several new tools and technologies related to gathering disaster risk and response related information will be discussed, such as crowd sourcing, space information based products with open access and integration of such information ensure public safety from potential risks.
  4. Cooperation mechanism for improving disaster risk management
    This session will discuss existing opportunities, mechanisms and provide elements to plan cooperation programmes to improve disaster risk management at national and regional level. The session will also offer opportunities to discuss programmes to be planned jointly with the UN-SPIDER and partner organisations in 2014, such as technical advisory missions, capacity building programmes and outreach events.
  5. Special session on Drought Risk Assessment
    In collaboration with the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation (APSCO), a special session “Drought Risk Assessment using Space Technology” will be organised for the benefit of APSCO member countries.

Side meetings

The conference will organise side meetings to discuss the cooperation related to rapid response mapping, information sharing and cooperation project on drought assessment for Africa.

International training programme

The training programme "Capacity Building Programme on Space technology for Flood & Drought Risk Mapping & Assessment" is organised back to back with the “United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Management - Disaster Risk Identification, Assessment and Monitoring” from 27 to 31 October 2013. 25 selected participants of the conference will continue to attend the training programme organised jointly by the APSCO, NDRCC and UN-SPIDER.

The objective of the training is to strengthen the capacity of the national agencies to use geospatial technologies for flood and drought management. It will provide an insight on the use of satellite images and spatial information in flood & drought risk management by providing hands-on training on using spatial data for risk mapping, flood modelling and rapid mapping (damage assessment). Thus, the training will demonstrate use of space based information in entire cycle of flood management. The participants will benefit from the experience sharing by experts from the centres of excellence, demonstration of the best practices in various countries and practical sessions on the software tools.

The complete concept note for the training programme is available for download here. (148 KB)

Target audience for the conference

Disaster managers, policy makers, providers of space technology solutions/tools/applications from Government, academia, researchers, NGO and corporate sector.

Number of expected participants: 120


Zhongmin Plaza, 7, Baiguang Road, Xicheng District, Beijing 100053, China

Financial Support to the participants

Due to funding constraints, the organisers will be able to offer support to limited number of participants countries engaged in developing long-term partnership with the UN-SPIDER. The support will defray the cost of travel (round-trip ticket – most economic fare – between the airport of international departure in their country of residence and Beijing) and/or room and board expenses during the duration of the event.

Point of Contact

Technical matters / Registration: Mr. Shirish Ravan Email: shirish.ravan [at] unoosa.org Telephone: (+86) (10) 6353 3527


Official report
Final conference report (A/AC.105/1061)Download
Key note presentation
Shirish Ravan, UN-SPIDER: Role of Space-based Information in light of the post 2015 Framework for Disaster Risk ReductionDownload
Opening Ceremony
Zhangwei, APSCODownload
Day 1 - Plenary Session 1
Siquan Yang, NDRCC: Operational System for DR in NDRCCDownload
Godstime James, NSDA: An evaluation of the success of the UN-SPIDER TAMsDownload
Denis Macharia, RCMRD: RCMRD Role in Disaster Risk Reduction in Member StatesDownload
Maqbool Ahmad, APSCO: APSCO activitiesDownload
Gaston Moonen, INTOSAI: Geospatial information for auditing disaster managementDownload
Day 1 - Plenary Session 2
Jianping Yan, UNDP: Integrating Disaster Information: Key Issues and Possible SolutionsDownload
Giriraj Amarnath, IWMI: IMWI's Flood Risk Assessment and Modeling Research in Asia and AfricaDownload
Derren Yong, Digital Globe: The Value of DigitalGlobe High Resolution Imagery in Disaster Risk ManagementDownload
Aing-yan Meng, CNSA: Cloud Service RS Application System for Disaster Emergency Based on High Resolution ProjectDownload
James Durana, RapidEye: Earth Observation Satellite (EOS) Data for Disaster Risk Identification and AssessmentDownload
Haigang Sui, Wuham University: Remote sensing image real-time processing for rapid disaster emergency responseDownload
Kayode Adepoju, ARCSSTE-E: Modelling Flood Regulation as an Ecosystem Service using Artificial IntelligenceDownload
Esteban Pacha, IMSO: Satellite technology to prevent and respond in cases of maritime accidentsDownload
Day 2 - Plenary Session 3
Suju Li, NDRCC: Synergy Using the Space Collaborative Initiatives for Better Disaster Emergency SupportDownload
Fang Chen, RADI: CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster ManagementDownload
Baoming Li, Space Star Technology: BeiDou/GNSS Disaster Risk ReductionDownload
Mahamadou Keita, RECTAS: Application of Space-based Technologies for Disaster Management in West AfricaDownload
Manuela Muianga, UNDP: Investment in Disaster Risk Reduction, The Case of MozambiqueDownload
Day 2 - Plenary Session 4
Nana Yan, RADI: Agricultural Drought Monitoring from Global to FieldDownload
Yongpin Zhao, UNAMID: The Application of 3D GIS Models in Support of UNAMID Mission’s Camp Risks Analysis and ManagementDownload
Suwarsono, LAPAN: Space-based Activities for Disaster Emergency Response in IndonesaDownload
Jiahong Wen, Shanghai Normal University: National Disaster ObservatoryDownload
Deo Raj Gurung, ICIMOD: ICIMOD activities in Disaster Risk ReductionDownload
Day 2 - Working Group 1
Jianjun Wu, Beijing Normal University: The Integrated Surface Drought Index (ISDI)Download
Valerian Micheni, NDMA: Community and Technology inter-linkages for Drought Risk Assessment and Monitoring in KenyaDownload
Filippo Pongelli, WFP: Remote Sensing and GIS Integration HOA Case StudyDownload
Day 3 - Plenary Session 5
Jing Li, Beijing Normal University: Space-based information service for flood mapping, Case study of MalaysiaDownload
Edoh Yao Kiatchey, NADMO: Emergeny Responses, Ghana's PerspectiveDownload
Amna A. Hamid, NCR: Sudan 2013 floods, From satellite images perspective, Case study: Eastern Nile Locality, Khartoum StateDownload
Benjamin Kofi Nyarko, GODT: Operationalizing Disaster Management Training Programmes in Developing Countries UniversitiesDownload
Muhammad Naseem Baig, NUST: NUST’s Role in Building Nation’s Resilience against DisastersDownload
Zafar Iqbal, SUPARCO: Utilization of Space-based Information for Disaster Monitoring in PakistanDownload
Netai Chandra Dey Sarker, DDM: Disaster Management in Bangladesh and Follow-up of UN-SPIDER TAMDownload
Xuhui Shen, NEI: Ten-years progress and development in seismic remote sensing monitoring technologyDownload
Shifeng Huang, CIWRGR: Application of Remote Sensing and GIS on Flood Monitoring and Assessment in ChinaDownload
Zhongmin Plaza, 7, Baiguang Road, Xicheng District, Beijing 100053, CHINA