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UN organizes workshop on the use of space technology for disaster management

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) on behalf of the Government of Germany are jointly organizing a five-day International Workshop on the Use of Space Technology for Disaster Management. Co-sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), and co-organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR), the Workshop will be held in Munich, Germany, from 18 to 22 October 2004.

The Workshop will bring together the results and experience gained from the previous five regional workshops organized by OOSA for Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Western Asia, on the use of space technology for disaster management. The International Workshop will provide an opportunity to build upon the results of each regional workshop, contributing towards defining a global strategy.

It will also be an opportunity to build upon a number of on-going initiatives, such as the work of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) through its Action Team on Disaster Management, the activities of the Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) initiative in Europe, the ad hoc Group on Earth Observations, the Geo-hazards initiative of the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) and the results of the Second International Conference on Early Warning (EWC II). In addition, participants will discuss proposals to be forwarded to the World Conference on Disaster Reduction, which will be held in Kobe, Japan, in January 2005.

The objectives of the Workshop are: (a) to review the information and communication needs of the disaster management community, and the extent to which they are being met or could be met by space technologies; (b) to review the results of the previous five regional workshops, and to discuss a common strategy for all regions to support the use of space technology in disaster management activities; (c) to review on-going and planned initiatives as well as case studies that could contribute to an “Integrated Space-based Global System to Support Disaster Management”; and (d) to discuss a common vision and proposals for such a global system. More than 180 decision makers and senior experts are expected to attend the International Workshop.