In recent years Guatemala has been impacted by disasters of various kinds including volcanic eruptions, floods and droughts. In November 2010, UN-SPIDER had conducted a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) to Guatemala. As a follow-up, this expert mission was carried out to support government institutions in the institutionalization of a technical group focusing on remote sensing applications for disaster risk reduction and emergency response.
Mon, 31/10/2011 to Sun, 06/11/2011
Juan Carlos Villagran de Leon, UN-SPIDER
The mission aimed at raising awareness of the Directors of various institutions on the benefits of using space-based information on disaster risk and disaster response management. It also addressed the recommendations made during a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) one year earlier, which included the establishment of an inter-agency group of professionals working in various state institutions on the use of GIS and remote sensing.
The mission included visits to SEGEPLAN, to the National Geographic Institute (IGN), to the National Institute of Statistics (INE), the National Coordinating Agency for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) and to the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN).
The mission was able to move forward the establishment of an inter-institutional group of professionals from a variety of Government agencies and universities, which will focus its attention on the use of satellite imagery and remote-sensing applications. The Directors of SEGEPLAN and IGN will institutionalize the technical group through a Memorandum of Understanding. The mission also allowed UN-SPIDER to take note of the comments made by the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, who highlighted the importance of remote sensing applications and raised the question concerning how to improve access to space-based information to track vulnerability and to identify ways regarding adaptation to climate change. In addition, the Minister requested UN-SPIDER to explore how the Ministry could interact more effectively with UNOOSA on the topics of environmental management and climate change.
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.
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