UNIS/OS/400 10 November 2010
VIENNA, 10 November (UN Information Service) - The United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) opened an office in Beijing today. UN-SPIDER, which was created in 2006 by a resolution of the UN General Assembly, helps to ensure that all countries are able to access and use space-based information to support disaster risk management and emergency response. UN-SPIDER is coordinated from Vienna by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).
"The opening of the Beijing office is a landmark in the development of UN-SPIDER. The programme is at the centre of an ever increasing use of space-based technologies in support of disaster management," Ms. Mazlan Othman, Director of UNOOSA, said at the opening of the UN-SPIDER office in Beijing.
With a global mandate and a strong focus on the Asia-Pacific region, the UN-SPIDER Beijing office will contribute to the implementation of the UN-SPIDER programme by connecting the disaster management and space communities in the region. This includes raising awareness and supporting Governments, international and regional organizations through the provision of technical advisory support in the use and access of space-based information, such as satellite imagery, for disaster risk management and emergency response. Such mechanism were used in emergencies such as the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia, the volcanic eruption in Indonesia or the Typhoon Megi that impacted the Philippines.
The UN-SPIDER office in Beijing will be lead by Mr. Shirish Ravan (photo). Besides Beijing, the UN-SPIDER programme has staff in Vienna, Austria as well as at the UN-SPIDER Office in Bonn, Germany.
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, UNOOSA maintains a website at www.unoosa.org
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For information contact:
Programme Coordinator, UN-SPIDER
Email: david.stevens [at] unoosa.org
Associate Programme Officer, UNOOSA
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4962
Email: romana.kofler [at] unoosa.org