News

  • International Charter Space and Major Disasters marks 20th anniversary Wed Oct 21 2020
    The International Charter Space and Major Disasters, a worldwide collaboration among space agencies through which satellite-derived information and products are made available to support disaster response efforts, is marking its 20th anniversary this year. Since starting operations on 1 November 2000, the Charter has been activated 680 times (as of 19 October 2020) to support disasters in 126...
  • UNOOSA and Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Asia and the Pacific launch online course on Geospatial Applications for Disaster Risk Management Tue Oct 13 2020
    Marking International Day for Disaster Reduction today, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education for Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) affiliated to the United Nations have launched a new online learning course on how to use space applications for disaster management. The training is through a Massive Open Online Course (...
  • UNOOSA and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev agree to establish UN-SPIDER RSO in Israel Mon Oct 12 2020
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a Regional Support Office (RSO) of UNOOSA's programme 'United Nations Platform for Space-Based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER)'. UN-SPIDER RSOs are regional or national centres of expertise that...
  • On 20 May 2020, the Copernicus Sentinel Mission captured this image of Cyclone Amphan making landfall over Bangladesh. Image: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2020), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.
    Registrations open for virtual United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction Fri Oct 2 2020
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) is pleased to announce the “United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction – ‘Lessons learned during the unprecedented pandemic situation”, to be held online from 24-25 November 2020. This conference is organised by the Beijing office of the United Nations Platform for Space-based...
  • WSF2015 subset including India and vast part of Eastern and South Eastern Asia.  Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
    New free map product shows settlement structure with 10m resolution Wed Sep 30 2020
    A new world map developed by the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) reveals settlement structures on Earth in 2015 with a resolution of 10 metres. The World Settlement Footprint 2015 (WSF2015), which is publicly and freely available, combines optical and radar satellite imagery acquired by the Landsat-8 and Sentinel 1 missions in 2014 and 2015 to outline the extent of settlements at a high accuracy....
  • Participants at the virtual expert meeting. Image: UNOOSA.
    UN-SPIDER conducts virtual expert meeting for Latin America Mon Sep 28 2020
    In order to discuss and promote the use of space technologies in addressing natural hazards such as forest fires and landslides in Latin America, UN-SPIDER conducted a virtual regional expert meeting on the topic of “Space-based Solutions for Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response in Latin America” from 22 to 24 September 2020. The meeting was jointly organized with UN-SPIDER Regional...
  • IWMI staff receiving the GeoSpatial World Excellence Award 2020. Image: IWMI.
    IWMI wins award for innovative space-based drought monitoring work Sun Sep 27 2020
    The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office, has won an award for its innovative work using remote sensing technology to help nations monitor and mitigate the impacts of drought. The Institute received the GeoSpatial World Excellence Award 2020 in recognition of the positive impact of its South Asia Drought Monitoring System (SADMS). Since IWMI...
  • Screenshot of the Earth Map platform.
    Google and FAO develop web-based tool to facilitate big data access Fri Sep 18 2020
    Google and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations have launched a new tool that provides access to multidimensional maps and statistics showing key climate and environmental trends. Earth Map draws on the processing power of Google Earth Engine and aims to help develop insights based on satellite and FAO’s agriculturally-relevant data alike. It follows the joint...
  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the SAOCOM 1B satellite. Image: Manuel Mazzanti/CONAE
    CONAE successfully launches SAOCOM 1B satellite Mon Sep 14 2020
    The Argentinean SAOCOM 1B satellite was successfully launched into orbit on 30 August 2020. Developed by the National Argentinean Space Commission (CONAE), this new satellite will join SAOCOM 1A and four Italian COSMO-SkyMed to complete the joint Italian-Argentinean Satellite System for Emergency Management (SIASGE). Like its predecessor, SAOCOM 1B was built in Argentina through a joint effort...
  • Screenshot of the FAO Hand-in-Hand geospatial platform.
    New FAO geospatial data platform to strengthen food and agriculture sectors Wed Sep 9 2020
    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched a geospatial data platform that aims to help build stronger food and agriculture sectors post COVID-19. The Hand-in-Hand system provides access to a wide range of data on food, agriculture, socioeconomics and natural resources. The platform features over one million geospatial layers and thousands of statistics series...
  • Tropical cyclone Fani over the eastern coast of India on 2 May 2019. Image: NASA.
    CRED publishes 2019 disaster statistics Thu Aug 20 2020
    According to the latest issue of an annual disaster statistics report, floods were the deadliest type of disasters in 2019, followed by extreme temperature, while storms affected the highest number of people. Published by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), “Natural disasters 2019 - Now is the time to not give up” draws on data recorded in the Emergency Events...
  • Floods in Bangladesh in 2019. Image: UN Women Asia and the Pacific.
    ICIMOD supports disaster management with streamflow prediction and flood mapping Wed Aug 19 2020
    The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is leveraging space-based information to support government and humanitarian agencies in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region with timely information for flood early warning and inundation mapping. The efforts, which consist of developing a streamflow prediction system for flood early warning and of providing near real-time...
  • Report cover.
    Aerospace Information Research Institute of China tracks locust swarm dynamics and losses Thu Aug 13 2020
    At the end of 2019, countries in the Horn of Africa began to suffer the impacts of locust swarms. Later, the locust migrated to regions in Southwest Asia. Unfortunately, the impacts on farmers are devastating. Furthermore, the combined impact of these locust plague and COVID-19 is having a toll of the livelihoods of many farmers in these regions. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the...
  • Areas flooded and damaged following cyclone Idai, northwest of Beira. Image: European Union/Christian Jepsen.
    UN-SPIDER and UFSM of Brazil deliver webinar on flood mapping and drought monitoring in Mozambique Mon Aug 10 2020
    In recent years, Mozambique has suffered severe floods and droughts that have impacted urban and rural communities throughout the country. In the March and April 2019, tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth triggered major floods in Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Comoros.  The Port of Beira was hard hit, as cyclone Idai destroyed transmission lines and bridges, leaving the port without access to...
  • Field Work on Ogunpa flood plain Ibadan, Nigeria. Image: GMES.
    CSSTE creates data bank for flood events in West Africa Mon Aug 10 2020
    Floods are among the most frequent natural hazards around the world, as well as in Africa, and can trigger devastating disasters among the most vulnerable communities. Climate change, and inadequate land-use/land-cover changes can exacerbate this situation and may erode hard-won gains in many developing countries. The first step to reduce the impacts of such floods is to understand the dynamics...
  • Sentinel 3. Image: ESA.
    ESA project focuses on merging satellite data for water management and drought forecasting Fri Jul 31 2020
    A new project of the European Space Agency (ESA) aims to combine data from two different Copernicus Sentinel missions to provide estimates of evapotranspiration at the scale of a single field. The European Space Agency’s Sentinels for Evapotranspiration (Sen-ET) project brings together optical data from the Sentinel-2 mission and thermal data from the Sentinel-3 mission to produce...
  • Central-pivot agricultural fields along the Orange River in South Africa. Image: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by ESA.
    Funding collective issues RFP for labeled agricultural datasets to support ML in Africa Wed Jul 29 2020
    A grantmaking collective committed to creating and mobilizing labeled datasets that facilitate the development of machine learning applications to address urgent problems has launched a new request for proposals (RFP) for funding. Lacuna Fund, which aims to support as many organizations as possible in using artificial intelligence for social good in low- and middle-income contexts, focuses on...
  • Screenshot of visualizing CO emissions from forest fires in Honduras using data from the Sentinel-5P satellite and Sentinel Hub EO Browser.
    UN-SPIDER and CEPREDENAC raise awareness about space-based products for monitoring 2020 forest fire season in Honduras Mon Jul 27 2020
    On 22 July 2020, UN-SPIDER and the Central American Coordination Centre for Natural Disaster Prevention (CEPREDENAC) joined forces to conduct a webinar on the use of novel space-based products and services to monitor forest fires that took place during the spring of 2020 in Honduras. The webinar included high ranking authorities and participants from several institutions of Honduras such as the...
  • Report cover page. Image: UNESCAP.
    UNESCAP publishes report on protecting the most vulnerable from climate extremes and COVID-19 in South Asia Thu Jul 23 2020
    The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has published a policy study concerning the impending climate risk scenarios in South Asia and their intersection with the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this report is to facilitate policy actions that could protect communities at risk as well as to lay the foundations of resilient recovery of the most vulnerable...
  • Image: UNFPA.
    Satellite data supports UN anticipatory humanitarian action in Bangladesh Tue Jul 21 2020
    In the latest example of anticipatory humanitarian action, the United Nations released $5.2 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help communities in Bangladesh prepare themselves ahead of major monsoon floods. The allocation of funds to agencies in the country to prepare to deliver support was triggered by a forecast from the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS), which...
  • Image: ESA.
    ESA releases call for Earth Explorer 11 mission ideas Mon Jul 6 2020
    The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a call for mission ideas to develop a new satellite mission that advances the scientific understanding of Earth and shows how new technologies can be used in space. The mission’s goal is to provide answers and insights on societal issues that humankind will face in the coming decades such as the availability of food, water, energy resources, as well as...

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