The SPIDER Global Thematic Partnership (SPIDER GTP) which was launched in 2009 was again present in the 3rd Session of the Global Platform, which was organized and conducted by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) from 9 to 13 May 2011 on the premises of the Geneva International Convention Center.
This session of the Global Platform brought together more than 2600 representatives from a variety of agencies from national governments, regional and international organizations, academia, NGOs, and from the private sector. Taking advantage of the format of the event which included several side sessions, the SPIDER GTP brought together high ranking authorities and experts from the Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), the International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS), the Joint Board of Geospatial Information Societies (JBGIS), the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and Esri in a side event titled: “Integrated Use of Space Technologies for Disaster-Risk Reduction”. This side event took place on 12 May and attracted a wide range of participants.
Key messages stemming from this session include:
- There is a need for national platforms for disaster reduction to become aware of opportunities that regional and international agencies are providing to facilitate access to and use of space-based and geo-spatial information.
- There is a need for decision makers and members of National Platforms for Disaster Reduction to become aware of the usefulness of geo-spatial and space-based information. Such information can contribute to the assessment of hazards and vulnerabilities, and is extremely useful to track changes in exposition and risk due to social, economic, political, and natural factors.
- Technical partnerships and platforms such as the SPIDER-Thematic Partnership could benefit from the support of UN-ISDR for improving synergies with national platforms.
- There is a need to bridge the gap between regional and international initiatives such as the Charter and Sentinel Asia which generate and provide information and local communities which are at risk. The aim should be to enhance the use of geo-spatial and space-based information generated by these agencies at the local level. National platforms should become efficient intermediaries to bridge this gap.
- Private sector enterprises such as Esri are developing innovative tools and methods to process and to visualize information. These tools can assist national platforms to visualize hidden issues such as vulnerability.
In conclusion, the session allowed participants to become aware of recent examples concerning the application of space-based information to support emergency relief efforts in Japan and in other countries which have experienced disasters. In addition, the session allowed participants to become aware of the wide range of applications of geo-spatial information in a variety of sectors of development including environmental management. The session allowed participants to become aware of ongoing efforts by regional and international agencies and by the private sector to promote the use of such information, including efforts by ISPRS, JBGIS, and UN-SPIDER to provide proof regarding the cost/benefit ratio when using such type of information.
Please click here for further details on the session and the discussions.