Ghana - Institutional Strengthening Mission

As a follow-up activitity to its 2013 Technical Advisory Mission to the Western African country, UN-SPIDER conducted a week-long Institutional Strengthening Mission (ISM) to Ghana. The mission followed an invitation of the Government of Ghana and was hosted by the National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).


Mon, 15/10/2018 to Fri, 19/10/2018

Host Institution: 

National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO)


Main Hazards: 

Mission Team: 

Organizers UN-SPIDER and National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO)
Participants Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS)
  Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (CERSGIS)
  Ghana Meteorological Department (G-MET)
  Ghana Survey Department (GSD) 
  Ghana Armed Forces (GAF)
  Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA)
  Hydrological Services Department (HSD)
  Ghana Police Service (GPS)
  Water Resources Commission (WRC)
  Ghana Geological Survey Authority
  Health Services Department Ghana 


Mission Profile: 

The aims of the UN-SPIDER Institutional Strengthening Mission (ISM) to Ghana were

The mission consisted of two parts:

Inter-institutional Seminar

The seminar brought together nearly 50  participants from several government agencies in including NADMO, the Ghana Geological Survey Authority, the Survey Mapping Division, the Police Department, the Land Use Spatial Planning Authority, the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Ghana Irrigation Authority, the Water Resources Commission, the Ghana Armed Forces and the National Fire Service as well as the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems of the University of Ghana.

The seminar allowed participants to exchange information on their activities, on joint efforts with NADMO and on the use of remote sensing and geographic information systems in their routine tasks.

Training course

The training course was organized and attended by 25 participants from several government agencies and the University of Ghana. Participants were trained in the use of specific step-by-step procedures to process satellite imagery to map the extent of floods using as an example the recent floods in the White Volta River in the northern region of Ghana. Participants were also trained on the use of another step-by-step procedure to map the comparative impacts of droughts on vegetation in the central region of Ghana. These procedures make use of open satellite imagery and open source software and will enhance the capability of government agencies to generate maps useful to monitor floods and droughts as well as in early warning systems. UN-SPIDER took the opportunity to present to NADMO more than 40 gigabytes of optical and radar, satellite imagery and maps it generated for this mission, covering the entire Republic of Ghana in case of droughts.


Mission Outcome: 

  • A proposal was successfully made to the International Charter Space and Major Disasters for NADMO to become an Authorised User of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters
  • The establishment of an inter-institutional remote sensing and disaster management team called “The Ghana eaRth obsErvATion Technologies Team (GREAT Team)” which will help in designing and managing an Integrated  Decision Support System (IDeSS) for disaster risk management and emergency response
  • Participants of the four-day training were able to generate their own maps of flood extents which recently occurred on the White Volta River, using radar images from Sentinel-1
  • Participants generated more than 400 time series maps from MODIS Terra data for drought monitoring using the Standard Vegetation Index (SVI) and Vegetation Condition Index (VCI) methods

Mission Outlook

  • NADMO to carry out two additional training courses with the support of the Ghana Space Science and Technology Institute and the Centre for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems of the University of Ghana to strengthen the skills of the team. These two training courses should give team members a better overview of the software tools used in the procedures (SNAP software developed by the European Space Agency and R Studio).  
  • The technical Inter-Institutional Team to start the routine generation of maps of the Vegetation Index or the Standard Vegetation Index to track areas that may be affected by drought and incorporate this procedure into the drought early warning system.
  • The Technical Inter-Institutional Team to elaborate additional maps of the floods that took place in August and September 2018 and their evolution and discuss how to use this historical information to improve disaster preparedness efforts on the basis of this and other floods.
  • NADMO to assess the feasibility of working with UN-SPIDER and Airbus in the generation of maps of areas susceptible to landslides and to tidal waves or storm surges.
  • NADMO to complete the steps regarding the incorporation of NADMO as an Authorised User of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters.

Space-based applications driving fire early warning and monitoring systems

Wildfires in Greece near Kineta captured by the Sentinel 2 satellite on 23 July. Image: Copernicus.

The summer of 2018 has seen several severe wildfires across Europe and the world. A number of space-based applications and data from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the European Union’s Copernicus programme, the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) are supporting authorities in fighting the fires.


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 30/07/2018 - 14:56

Atos activates new Earth observation platform Mundi to consolidate disaster preparedness

On 14 December 2017, ESA, acting on behalf of the European Commission, signed Copernicus Data and Information Access Service (DIAS) contracts with four industrial consortia. DIAS will give unlimited, free and complete access to Copernicus data and information. Image: ESA.

Atos activated its new Earth observation platform Mundi Web Services on 21 June 2018. The platform is already being used by several clients to evaluate and manage disaster risks.


Publishing Date: 

Tue, 24/07/2018 - 11:18

Copernicus launches DIAS services during 20th anniversary celebrations

European Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska announcing the launch of Copernicus DIAS on 20 June 2018 in Baveno, Italy. Image: Copernicus

The European Commission has launched an initiative to facilitate access to Copernicus data and information services.


Publishing Date: 

Fri, 20/07/2018 - 10:03

Sentinel data use for Land Cover and Forest Fires monitoring

This is event is available for participation on an ongoing basis

The main goal of this training session is to create theoretical and practical competences on the use of Sentinel data for





Free tagging: 

Is a certificate Issued?: 



08/02/2018 to 09/02/2018

Registration Deadline: 

Fri, 15/12/2017


Campus de Campolide

Venue City: 


Venue Country: 

  • Portugal

Event Organisers: 

This two-day hands-on training course is organized by Research and User Support for Sentinel Core products (RUS) and the NOVA Information Management School.


The event is organized in cooperation with Direção-Geral do Território.

Language of event: 


Sentinel-5P satellite launched to monitor the atmosphere


The first Copernicus mission dedicated to monitoring the atmosphere was launched successfully on 13 October.

Publishing Date: 

Wed, 18/10/2017 - 14:08

CONAE and ESA meet with users of space-based information

Image courtesy of CONAE

The Cultural Center of Science in Buenos Aires hosted a meeting organized by the Argentine Space Agency (CONAE) and the European Space Agency (ESA) to present the uses of their satellite missions to the users of space-based information.


Publishing Date: 

Mon, 15/05/2017 - 11:14

Referenced UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office: 

Sentinel 2-B sends first images

Image courtesy of ESA
After one week in orbit, ESA’s new Sentinel 2-B satellite delivered its first images of Earth. The first acquisition began over the Baltic sea and made a strip-like observation through eastern Europe down to northern Libya. The images were sent to the Matera ground station in Italy, where they have been processed afterwards.


Publishing Date: 

Sat, 18/03/2017 - 05:12

Agreement between Australia and Europe on Earth Observation research

Great Barrier Reef in Australia seen from space (Image: USGS/ESA)

An agreement has been signed between the Australian CSIRO research institute and the European Space Agency (ESA) which will allow Australia to get access to European satellite data, while ESA would benefit from Australia’s research expertise during joint projects on space technology and applications.


Publishing Date: 

Thu, 18/06/2015 - 08:42

Copernicus Masters goes to land stability monitoring project

PUNNET maps and monitors land stability

On 23 October, the Copernicus Masters was awarded to the first satellite-based service for extensive and uninterrupted monitoring and mapping of land stability.

Publishing Date: 

Mon, 27/10/2014 - 11:48


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