Guatemala is exposed to various hazards. Floods, droughts and landslides occur on an annual basis in urban and rural communities. Taking into consideration the usefulness of earth observations in the case of drought and other hazards, an Expert Mission was organized to discuss and elaborate a proposal for a potential project in Guatemala targeting the use of space-based information to assess the impact of drought and climate variability on crops.
Thu, 13/05/2010 to Wed, 19/05/2010
Juan Carlos Villagran de Leon, UN-SPIDER
The mission included a series of visits to government agencies and a one-day meeting with representatives of the Commission on Earth, Ocean and Space Sciences (COCITOE) of the National Council of Science and Technology (CONCYT) aimed at elaborating a project proposal to be submitted to CONCYT for funding. The proposal targets the establishment of an inter-institutional, inter-sectoral, technical committee of professionals that will focus its attention on the use of space-based information to track the impacts of the drought and climate variability events to crops, in particular subsistence crops. The project is based on the request made by the Director General Secretariat for Planning and Programming of the Presidency of the Republic (SEGEPLAN) to UN-SPIDER.
The mission allowed representatives of government institutions to become aware of UN-SPIDER, its activities and the type of Technical Advisory Support it can provide. During the mission, experts from Guatemala identified the need for training activities to enhance the skills of professionals working in government agencies regarding access and use of space-based information to generate information on which to make decisions. Critical issues that need to be resolved when using space-based information in Guatemala were also identified, including: extensive cloud cover, extremely variable topography, and a variety of microclimates. The main output of the mission was the project proposal that was submitted to CONCYT for subsequent evaluation and processing.
Kenya, like other countries in eastern Africa, is exposed to a variety of hazards including droughts, floods, landslides and earthquakes. The December 1999 drought affected 23 million inhabitants. From 21 to 23 October 2009, UN-SPIDER conducted an Expert Mission to Kenya to establish contact with its National Focal point, and to raise awareness concerning its activities and the type of technical advisory support it can provide. The mission also included a visit to Nakuru City to visit the Rift Valley provincial disaster-risk reduction platform.
Wed, 21/10/2009 to Fri, 23/10/2009
Department of Disaster Risk Reduction Kenya
The mission included a meeting with the UN-SPIDER National Focal Point and with representatives of ISDR/Africa and the Kenyan Humanitarian Forum chaired by OCHA, as well as a meeting with the Rift Valley provincial disaster-risk reduction platform.
The mission allowed UN-SPIDER to establish closer links with its National Focal Point, the ISDR Africa Office, the Kenyan Humanitarian Forum and the Rift Valley provincial disaster-risk reduction platform. These efforts allowed these entities to become aware of the mission of UN-SPIDER, the type of Technical Advisory Support that it can provide to countries such as Kenya and on the usefulness of space-based information in case of disaster-risk reduction and emergency response.
The mission also allowed UN-SPIDER to become aware of on-going efforts in Kenya regarding disaster-risk reduction and emergency response, as well as of the special needs in particular geographic regions of the country which are exposed to landslides and drought.
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