At the request of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Government of Mongolia, UN-SPIDER supported NEMA and stakeholders organisations in strengthening disaster risk management and emergency response by effective use of space based information including data sharing, National Spatial Data Infrastructure, policy level interventions and capacity.
Mon, 11/08/2014 to Fri, 15/08/2014
National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)
The team of seven experts, under leadership of the UN-SPIDER, visited Mongolia from 11-15 August 2014. The mission team represented following organisations: UN-SPIDER/UNOOSA, National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC), University of Georgia, Airbus Defence and Space, Asia Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO). Some of these organisations are already engaged with organisations in Mongolia in the area of disaster management and space technology.
During this five-day mission, the mission team visited seven Ministries and Government agencies and three United Nations offices to carry out in-depth discussions. On 15 August, the Workshop “Use of Space Technology in Disaster Risk Management” was organized. About 40 officials representing various ministries/departments, institutions, and academia attended the workshop. The workshop generated awareness among a larger group of stakeholders in Mongolia, and sought their inputs on current challenges in using space-based information in disaster management.
At the request of the Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Ministry of Home and Civil Affairs (MoHCA), Royal Government of Bhutan, UN-SPIDER organized a Technical Advisory Mission to Bhutan to evaluate the current and potential use of space-based information in Bhutan and to strengthen all aspects of disaster risk management and emergency response through better access to space-based information.
Mon, 02/06/2014 to Fri, 06/06/2014
Department of Disaster Management (DDM)
The mission team comprised seven experts: Shirish Ravan (UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER, China), Karma Lodey Rapten (UNDP, Bhutan), Rajan Bajracharya (ICIMOD, Nepal), Lingling Li (NDRCC, China), Stefan Keinberger (University of Salzburg, Austria), Hari Prasad Vajja (ADPC, Bangladesh) and Satya Parkash Katyal (ISRO, India).
Over the course of five days, the mission team conducted several meetings with key government agencies and institutions accompanied by the UN agencies involved. As part of the Technical Advisory Mission, a one-day workshop was conducted on the penultimate day of the mission. The workshop was attended by about 30 officials representing various ministries and departments of the Royal Government of Bhutan as well as numerous institutions. The workshop sought to generate awareness, address issues and suggest areas where space-based information can be utilized to support the disaster management cycle. During the course of the TAM, the mission team held several discussion sessions to reflect upon their findings to compile the assessments and develop a set of recommendations. On the final day, the team concluded with debriefing sessions with Mr. Chhador Wangdi, Director of DDM, MoHCA, and Ms. Christina Carlson, UNRC in Bhutan.
The mission team was made very much aware of the high priority placed on disaster risk reduction by the Bhutan Government. The importance of disaster risk reduction is echoed as one of the 16 National Key Results Area (NKRA) of the Royal Government of Bhutan for the 11th Five-Year Plan (FYP) running from 2013 to 2018.
The Disaster Management Act rightly identified the need of Hazard zone mapping, vulnerability maps and risk assessment. Thus, the mission team noted the DDM’s strive forward to build technical competence to perform tasks like hazard and risk mapping, assessing vulnerability and providing an efficient response during emergencies.
The mission team highlighted that the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) is well positioned to support the disaster risk reduction mandates of Bhutan’s National Disaster Management Authority as the department is currently perceived by stakeholders as the coordination agency. While capacities to use space-based and geospatial information exist in several stakeholder departments, the DDM needs to be strengthened with the appropriate technical capacity and supporting mechanisms to coordinate with stakeholder agencies and develop national programmes.
In addition to several agencies using space technology to prepare map products for disaster risk management, there are various organisations implementing projects with national and international partners using Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology which are directly or indirectly contributing to disaster management. The coordination of these activities could be further strengthened to make available a wealth of spatial information.
Policy, Coordination and Cooperation
- Formulation of geo-spatial policy related to disaster risk management, which may evolve finally into a National Spatial Data Infrastructure policy for the country
- The Disaster Management plans and policies should incorporate the use of space-based information and geospatial technology in Disaster Management
- A common approach and strategy is needed to define key concepts and terminologies to enable the reduction of disaster risk with a link to climate change adaptation and the pillars of Gross National Happiness (GHP) should be coordinated by Department of Disaster Management (DDM)
- DDM should further strengthen tools and instruments to coordinate activities, capacities, projects and funds in the context of disaster risk management in Bhutan
Data access, availability and sharing
- DDM should enumerate its data requirements and coordinate with stakeholder agencies for systematic generation data products required for disaster risk reduction decision making
- Remote sensing data coverage for the entire country on medium resolution and specific areas on high resolution is required to enable generation of geospatial layers required for disaster risk reduction
- Satellite data requirements for Bhutan should be streamlined through a single agency to enable judicious utilization of funds. All departments can make use of this data
- DDM should use CGISC as a platform to plan strategies data needs to address current information gaps for disaster risk reduction
Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening
- A capacity building strategy should be developed to address long-term capacity building needs of DDM and its key stakeholders
- An institution within Bhutan (for example, College of Science and Technology, Royal University of Bhutan) needs to be enabled to offer regular capacity building progammes
- Key agencies in Bhutan should be further linked to regional and international networks (e.g. such as GSDI, GEO etc.)
Strengthening disaster risk reduction decision making
- The DDM has a critical role to play in establishing mechanisms which allow rapid data sharing with hazard and to ensure that risk maps produced by stakeholder agencies are of national standard
- The DDM needs to leverage and expand capacities of stakeholder organisations so that they develop products needed for disaster risk reduction
- Risk and vulnerability mapping should be carried out initially on a pilot basis to develop methodologies and later these methodologies should be applied at the national level. Specific ‘national missions’ should be initiated through DDM to prepare national and sub-national hazard, vulnerability and risk mapping (in a phased manner based on priorities).
- Disaster risk reduction activities and related interventions should be further linked to climate change adaptation and the objectives of Gross National Happiness.
Strengthening early warning and preparedness
- The DDM should embed early warning from Bhutan Department of Hydro-Meteorological Service (DHMS) in the risk management plans. Currently, early warning is a standalone element at DHMS, and therefore its benefits to responders at the field level and communities at risk are not fully exploited.
- The DDM should develop capacities to improve multi-hazard early warning by integrating inputs from DMHS, the Department of Geology & Mines, the National Statistics Bureau and other agencies
- The DDM should play an important role in tailoring/downscaling early warning information to serve decision makers and population at stake (use community-based disaster risk management programme as a base).
- The DDM should integrate early warning information in a Disaster Management Information System (DMIS).
Strengthening emergency response
- DDM should work closely with ICIMOD, which is Data Analysis Node of Sentinel Asia
- DDM should become an Authorised User of the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters
- UN-SPIDER may help DDM to access satellite images through its network in case of disasters when the International Charter and Sentinel Asia is not activated.
- DDM should consider having bilateral arrangements with India (SAARC Framework), Japan, and China to source satellite images during emergencies as well as during normal situations.
- Integration of satellite images with DMIS during emergency response for decision making.
- Information sharing channel and calls for “Standing Orders during emergencies” should be clear.
The Government of Nigeria through its National EmergencyManagement Agency (NEMA) requested UN-SPIDER to conduct a Technical Advisory Mission to assess the use of space-based information in disaster management in Nigeria and to identify areas of improvement in the access to this kind of information and in the capacities of working with it.
Mon, 13/06/2011 to Fri, 17/06/2011
National EmergencyManagement Agency (NEMA)
The mission team consisted of seven experts representing the Regional Center for Training in Aerospace Surveys (RECTAS), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Country Team Nigeria and UN-SPIDER, as well as staff from the two hosting institutions, namely the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA). The latter hosts the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office in Nigeria.
After a mission team meeting, the experts visited NEMA and NASRDA, including visits to the COSPAS-SARSAT mission control center and the satellite ground control facilities of the Nigerian Space Agency. In the course of the TAM, a stakeholder workshop was organized that brought together more than 100 experts of the Nigerian disaster management community. The workshop was also covered by national television and print media. Furthermore, a technical workshop took place at the premises of NEMA, focusing on the 2010 floods in Sokoto state as a case study with the aim of analyzing the institutional capacities and cooperation of the stakeholders. The setting helped identify strengths and available opportunities in the country and also spurred discussions on perceived limitations and challenges. Visits to individual institutions gave insight into their access to and use of space-based information. The institutional visits were followed by a debriefing to the Director General and other high-ranking staff of NEMA, which was the requesting government agency of the UN-SPIDER mission.
In the follow-up to this TAM, the Nigerian UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office will be of particular importance and play a leading role in shaping new developments. A standard outcome of such a mission is a report that summarizes the observations and recommendations from the TAM and that is submitted to the national Government. These reports serve as a base for national authorities to develop policies and an action plan to improve the use of space-based information and of geo-databases for disaster management in the country. UN-SPIDER is committed to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations through its partners and the network of Regional Support Offices.
At the request of the Government of the Solomon Islands, UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) from 24 to 28 September 2012. The goal was to evaluate the current and potential use of space-based information in all the aspects of Disaster management and strengthen disaster risk management in the country by providing better access to space-based information for disaster risk reduction as well as response.
Mon, 24/09/2012 to Fri, 28/09/2012
National Disaster Management Office (NDMO)
The mission was headed by two experts from UN-SPIDER and included experts from UNEP, UNDP, the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), York University, Planet Action, the China National Space Administration and the Regional Centre for Mapping and Resources Development (RCMRD), which is one of the UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices in Africa.
The mission began with pre-TAM discussions of the mission team with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) of Solomon Islands. The mission team visited several offices during the first three days. These meetings provided an insight to these agencies' roles in the national disaster management processes with an emphasis on space-based and geospatial information. Additionally, a one day workshop was conducted, which was attended by 25 persons from the government departments, UN agencies, NGOs and private companies involved in using geospatial technologies for disaster management. The workshop included presentations from various Solomon Islands Government departments and the mission experts. The second half of the workshop was dedicated to a brainstorming session inviting the participants to contribute to improving the use of space technologies in disaster management. The workshop was effective in generating awareness and getting valuable inputs to strengthen space technology in disaster management. On the last day, the TAM team briefed the Director of NDMO on their findings, which led to a discussion about follow up actions in the near future. The observations and recommendations will be compiled in the form of a report which will be shared with the Solomon Islands Government and UN organisations.
Kenya experiences a number of natural hazards, the most common being weather related, including floods, droughts, landslides, lightening/thunderstorms, wild fires, and strong winds. In the recent past these hazards have increased in number, frequency and complexity. UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission to Kenya to evaluate the current and potential use of space-based information in all the aspects of disaster and disaster risk management.
Sat, 01/03/2014 to Sat, 08/03/2014
National Disaster Operations Centre (NDOC) and National Space Secretariat (NSS)
The mission team was comprised of nine international experts:
Mr. Coen Bussink (UN-SPIDER, Vienna), Ms. Longfei Liu (UN-SPIDER, Beijing), Ms. Leslie Armstrong (U.S. Geological Survey), Mr.Ned Dwyer (Coastal and Marine Research Centre, University College Cork, Ireland), Mr. Gabriel Yesuf (Regional Centre for Training in Aerospace Surveys, Nigeria), Mr. Andries Jordaan (University of the Free State, South Africa), Mr. Franck Ranera (Airbus Defence and Space, France), Mr. Michael Hagenlocher (University of Salzburg’s Interfaculty Department of Geoinformatics - Z_GIS, Austria), Mr. Wu Wei (National Disaster reduction Centre of China, China).
The mission team met with 19 national and international institutions based in Kenya. These meetings provided insight in the role of each organisation in disaster management and in the use of space-based and geospatial information in the country. In addition, the team organized a one-day workshop on the premises of UN-SPIDER’s Regional Support Office RCMRD, which was attended by over 50 participants from the academia, ministries, emergency services and international organisations.
The workshop included presentations by NDOC, NSS, RCMRD and by all experts of the TAM team. Group discussions were held inviting the participants to think about the current and potential use of space technologies in disaster management. The workshop was effective in generating awareness about possible applications of space-based technology and the potential for cooperation between different agencies.
On the last day of the mission, the TAM team provided a briefing on the findings of the mission to the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government of Kenya.
The observations and recommendations will be compiled in the form of the report that will be presented to the Government and could be used for the drafting of the National Policy for Disaster Risk Management.
- There is a good basis for a Kenya National Spatial Data Infrastructure
- There is a number of strong early warning systems using geospatial data, especially drought and floods in specific areas
- Excellent capacity in using up to date earth observation data and geographic data within several institutions
- Kenya has strong capacity for working with geospatial information, but the use could be optimized
- There is a need for capacity building
- Not all agencies use satellite-based communication/navigation technology
- Disaster management and contingency plans can benefit from the incorporation of space-based and geospatial information
- Cooperation and sharing of data and information between institutions could be strengthened
- A National Spatial Data Infrastructure is an important step to increase the generation and use of spatial data
- Focal points and role of institutions in the use of international mechanisms (International Charter, Copernicus GIO Emergency Management Service) for acquiring Earth Observation data/products should be clarified in order to access these resources
- Simulation exercises or drills provide an opportunity to identify current strengths and shortcomings
- Awareness raising at decision-making level could be useful
- Ensure adequate management of data and metadata within relevant institutions
- Institutions that need to strengthen their capacities could take advantage of knowledge in local universities and public institutions
- Conduct training courses to strengthen the skills of staff in GIS Units, including courses focusing on applications of remote sensing for disaster-risk assessment and emergency response
Malawi is a country frequently affected by floods, epidemics and droughts. In October 2013, a UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission was carried out upon the request of the Government in Malawi in order to assess how the country could improve its disaster risk management and emergency response capabilities using satellite information. The Mission followed up on a UN-SPIDER Expert Meeting conducted in November 2010.
Mon, 14/10/2013 to Fri, 18/10/2013
Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA)
UN-SPIDER invited seven experts with a broad range of expertise and diverse backgrounds in the space-technology, disaster management and crowd-sourcing sectors to join the two UN-SPIDER experts on the mission team. The experts represented various United Nations agencies, academia and international as well as national organisations: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), Humanitarian Open Street Map (HOT), French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (IFREMER), Technical University Vienna, Group on Earth Observation (GEO), Regional Centre for Mapping and Resources for Development (RCMRD) and the National Disaster Reduction Center China (NDRCC).
The team met with key national, international institutions and organisations in Malawi to discuss the current use of space-based information and technology in the country. A one day national workshop conducted on 18 October 2013 brought together over 40 participants and stakeholders from the academia, ministries, departments, NGOs and international organisation. A wide variety of subjects were addressed including remote sensing applications for disaster risk management, land use planning for disaster prevention, the added value of satellite-derived soil moisture assessments, the benefits of sharing geospatial information, the regional efforts for spatial data infrastructure and the need to access existing international mechanisms that make available satellite information and products to support emergency response.
Ghana is exposed to floods and droughts as well as to forest fires. In order to assess the potential to use Space-based information effectively to respond to or to prevent these events, UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission to this Western African country. The mission was conducted upon invitation of the government of Ghana and follows up on a UN-SPIDER Expert Mission carried out in October 2008.
Mon, 25/11/2013 to Fri, 29/11/2013
National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO)
The mission team comprised ten experts from various institutions including UNOOSA, United Nations University (UNU), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), National Space Research and Development Agency (NASDRA), MetOffice UK, National Disaster Risk Reduction of China (NDRCC), Secure World Foundation and the University of Free State.
The mission was conducted through visits to different national and international institutions and organisations involved in disaster risk management, emergency response and the use of satellite data. These included various governmental departments and ministries. Additionally, UN-SPIDER organised a national workshop on 28 November 2014. More than 40 stakeholders from academia, ministries, emergency services and international organisations were introduced to applications of remote sensing for disaster risk management including flood mapping. They were also informed about existing international mechanisms such as the International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" that make available satellite information for support emergency response as well as on NADMO's role in the coordination of disaster management in Ghana. Various group discussions allowed participants to exchange on the current and potential use of space-based technology and the role for disaster management in each organisation. The mission was wrapped up with a debriefing of NADMO staff and its national coordinator presenting main observations and recommendations made by the mission team.
- Disaster Management Plan and Contingency Plans are in place but the crucial role of geospatial information needs to be enhanced. The National Disaster Management Authority recently started to build capacity for working with geospatial information
- National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) is already on the agernda of relevant authorities and organisations in Ghana
- There is a need for an permanent operational Geographic Information unit for disaster response, with 24/7 alertness capacity
- Ghana already has a great national as well as regional capacity on Space technologies and geospatial information. This support should be used for improvements in the use of space-based information for disaster management.
- Prioritize the potential of space based information and geospatial data at policy making level
- Establish a centrally organised National Spatial Data Infrastructure to support the work of NADMO
- Raise awareness of the availability of satellite imagery, e.g. through the International Charter Space and Major Disasters
- Explore the use of open source Geographic Information System/Remote Sensing software
- Make use of existing international partners: ITC, FEMA, Universities, UN-SPIDER
Mozambique is exposed to weather-related hazards such as floods, droughts, and storms, which include tropical cyclones. As much as 25% of the population is at risk from natural hazards. The National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) and UNDP Mozambique requested UN-SPIDER to carry out a Technical Advisory Mission from 8 to 12 October 2012. The key objectives of the mission were to assess national capacity and to evaluate existing disaster and risk reduction activities, policies and plans with regard to the use of space-based technologies and to facilitate access of national institutions to space-based information to support tasks contemplated in the full cycle of disaster management.
Mon, 08/10/2012 to Fri, 12/10/2012
Mozambique National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) and UNDP Mozambique
The team comprised nine experts: Dr. Shirish Ravan (UNOOSA, Beijing Office), David Stevens (UNOOSA, Vienna Office), Dr. Stefan Kienberger (University of Salzburg, Centre for Geoinformatics, Austria), Prof. Dr. Talbot Brooks (Delta State University, Center for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Information Technologies, USA), Alex Fortescue, (Southern Mapping, South Africa), Prof. Dr. Chris Hartnady (Umvoto, South Africa), Wolfram Lange (Center for Natural Resources and Development (CNRD), Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Germany), Dr. Kennedy Masamvu (Southern African Development Community – SADC) Botswana, Prof. Dr. Jackson Roehrig, (Cologne University of Applied Sciences, Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics, Germany).
Meetings were held with key stakeholders within the government, associated departments/ agencies, and UN offices. In total, twelve different institutions were interviewed as part of a needs assessment process. The results of these meetings were augmented with information gained through a one day workshop organized by UN-SPIDER, INGC, and UNDP on 10 October 2012. The workshop brought together more than 45 representatives from various government/ United Nations and academic entities to discuss cross cutting issues related to use of geographic and space-based information for disaster risk reduction and emergency response.
The Mission Team observed the following:
- Disaster Management Plan and Contingency Plans are in place providing an opportunity for using geospatial information
- Coordination mechanism for disaster management is available (CTGC) which brings in different ministries/departments working with geospatial information
- A simulation exercise carried out annually provides an opportunity for the integration of geospatial products including satellite images
- Organizations expressed willingness to improve the coordination efforts
- Information sharing policy is not available which limits data sharing. No current discussion on the need to establish a National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NDSI)
- Different ministries and departments are involved in the mapping and maintenance of various thematic datasets
- Several institutions are involved in international projects involving space-based and geospatial information, which calls for stronger need for coordination and data sharing
- CENACARTA is mandated to provide baseline data (topographic maps, vector layers and satellite data) - baseline data needs to be updated. CENACARTA and INE are also obliged by existing policies to generate revenues
- Lack of awareness about the use and existence of geospatial data (need to improve dialogue)
- Capacities to use Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems exists within several organization
- INGC needs capacity to make use of the thematic data provided by different institutions
- Awareness and appreciation at decision-making level is required
Policy and Coordination
- Update Disaster Management Plan and Contingency Plans to make provisions to incorporate space-based and geospatial information
- Policy interventions to define clear cooperation and information sharing mechanism between data provider organisations and user organisation
- Establishment of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure should be taken up on top priority to ensure optimisation of use of existing resources. To share international NSDI best practices is seen as an important cornerstone to further build on
- Effort to have in place professional body bringing together geospatial experts
Data status and availability
- Creation and implementation of infrastructure for data sharing should be a top-priority for governmental institutions. NSDI should cover a road map for data creation, data management, metadata, standardization and quality
- Data creation needs to be streamlined to generate up-to-date geospatial information based on existing mandates of various organisations
- Data management needs to be reframed to provide uniform access to all humanitarian and developmental organisations. Metadata should be considered as an important component of the data management
- Awareness of the use of open-source software and open data should be strengthened
Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening
- Enable stakeholders of INGC (members of CTGC) with on-the-job-training to impart specific skills
- Train-the-trainer in specific domains of risk, hazard and vulnerability mapping (Develop national capacity to generate critical mass of trained personnel)
- Forum to generate awareness (workshop, technical committee, associations) to engage various levels of decision makers
- A Disaster Management Information System is needed to ensure integration of all information and providing meaningful inputs for decision making
- Ensure access by INGC to mechanisms that make space-based information available during emergency response: such as the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, SERVIR and GEO-EMS are the key mechanisms that need to be used effectively during emergencies
As a follow-up to the Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) conducted in 2009 and in the context of the Namibian SensorWeb Pilot Project, this mission was carried out by UN-SPIDER in coordination with the Department of Water Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry. The goal of the mission was to promote access and use of space-based technologies and solutions for disaster management and emergency response within relevant communities. The mission included a visit to the Northern regions Caprivi and Oshana that were affected by the flood in 2009 and a technical meeting with stakeholders.
Tue, 19/01/2010 to Tue, 02/02/2010
Department of Water Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry
The mission included experts from JRC, DLR, GTZ, ITC, NASA, NOAA, USRI, UNESCO, WMO and was coordinated by UN-SPIDER.
The mission included:
- A field trip to the Northeastern Caprivi region and the central Cuvelai-Drainage System in Northern Namibia close to the border of Angola, which were affected by floods. The field trip included comprehensive photo documentation and GPS measurements of roads and particular geographic locations; as well as discussions with stakeholders from regional councils and relief organisations (police, fire brigade, national defense forces) to document measures and mechanism of emergency and crisis management and other relevant experiences.
- A technical workshop organized by the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry. The goal of the workshop was to identify and discuss lessons-learned from the Namibian disaster management institutions and national and regional relief practitioners and to provide technical expert knowledge regarding the use of space technology to better facilitate international collaboration in the future.
- A high-level debriefing to high-level authorities including the Minister for Agriculture, Water and Forestry, the Under Secretary of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, the UN Resident Coordinator in Namibia, and the Ambassador of the United States of America to Namibia.
The mission allowed experts to increase their awareness regarding the floods that have impacted Namibia in recent years and ways in which emergency response efforts are carried out at the national and local levels.
The mission took note of the existing basic capacity in several institutions in Namibia to work with space-based information and technology such as GPS and imagery. The mission team also identified that the flow of disaster-relevant information among different government institutions is still insufficient or even non-existing. This actually hinders the effective use of existing spatial and space-based information, especially as disaster relevant applications typically require information from different sectors of the administration.
On 26 December 2004, Sri Lanka was impacted by the Indian Ocean-wide tsunami. The impacts of the disaster triggered a national effort to introduce disaster management as a key priority. At the invitation of the Ministry of Disaster Management of Sri Lanka and its associated Disaster Management Centre (DMC), UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission. The key objectives of the mission were to assess national capacity and to evaluate existing disaster and risk reduction activities, policies and plans with regard to the use of space-based technologies.
Mon, 17/10/2011 to Fri, 21/10/2011
The Ministry of Disaster Management of Sri Lanka
The mission team was headed by two experts from UN-SPIDER, and was complemented with seven experts from UNESCAP, Z_GIS - University of Salzburg (Austria), CSSTEAP, SUPARCO, IWMI and the K.N.Toosi University of Technology (Iran).
The mission included meetings with key stakeholders within the government, associated departments/agencies and UN offices. In total eleven different institutions were consulted. In addition UN-SPIDER and DMC organised a one day workshop on 20 October 2011 bringing together more than 75 representatives from various government/UN agencies and academia of the country to discuss cross cutting issues related to use of geographic and space-based information for disaster risk reduction and emergency response.
Disaster-risk management efforts are implemented through the DMC and with the support of a variety of international organizations and NGOs. The DMC is well place and capable of coordinating inter-institutional efforts. Efforts are conducted under the umbrella of the national plan entitled: Towards a safer Sri Lanka: A road map for Disaster Risk Management;
The Disaster Management Centre is aware of the International Charter: Space and Major Disasters and of UN-SPIDER. The Survey Department is also aware of Sentinel Asia and participates in efforts conducted by Sentinel Asia. However, the products from these mechanisms are not yet contributing to the decision-making process;
Space based information has been already employed in the case of hydrometeological events;
Several organizations such as the National Building Research Organisation (NBRO) have carried out hazard assessments, and the DMC is promoting the elaboration of risk assessment;
There is no national-level data or information sharing mechanism, nor a national Geospatial Database Infrastructure in place to facilitate the sharing of data and information among institutions. However, some institutions have their own spatial database infrastructure, such as the Survey Department;
The DMC is aware of the value of geo-spatial information but lack the capacities to make use of space-based information for risk management and emergency response efforts. There is a recognition regarding the need to build capacities within the DMC;
The Government of Sri Lanka should incorporate the use of space-based information in its policies related to disaster-risk management and emergency response as a way to take advantage of the opportunities that are being made available by the space community, including mechanisms such as the Charter and Sentinel Asia;
The Ministry of Disaster Management should incorporate policy interventions to define clear cooperation and information sharing mechanism between data provider organisations, to leverage on best practice and policy interventions to strengthen organisations mandated to play critical role in early warning;
The issue of the Geospatial Data Infrastructure should be taken up on top priority to avoid huge wastage of resources. The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA), the Survey Department and the Arthur C Clarke Institute for Modern Technologies should play key role in implementing the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI);
The right to access data for the different institutions and their needs of a comprehensive disaster management has to be maintained. Financial provisions to access satellite images should be maintained. The aerial coverage during emergencies could be improved by the Air force through especially equipped plane;
An appropriate methodology and concept to integrate Earth Observation, spatial data and additional socio-economic data into a vulnerability assessment should be maintained. The overall integration into a risk profile will need further attention;
The Ministry for Disaster Management and the DMC should carry out specific training programmes targeting offices involved in national risk profiling and early warning as well as strengthening technical infrastructure of departments involved in DRM for analysis of satellite data and processing of geospatial information;
The DMC should carry out frequent awareness activities targeting decision makers and stakeholders in collaboration with Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration (SLIDA) on the benefits of space-based information.
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