News

  • Sentinel 3. Image: ESA.
    ESA project focuses on merging satellite data for water management and drought forecasting Fri Jul 31 2020
    A new project of the European Space Agency (ESA) aims to combine data from two different Copernicus Sentinel missions to provide estimates of evapotranspiration at the scale of a single field. The European Space Agency’s Sentinels for Evapotranspiration (Sen-ET) project brings together optical data from the Sentinel-2 mission and thermal data from the Sentinel-3 mission to produce...
  • Central-pivot agricultural fields along the Orange River in South Africa. Image: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2016), processed by ESA.
    Funding collective issues RFP for labeled agricultural datasets to support ML in Africa Wed Jul 29 2020
    A grantmaking collective committed to creating and mobilizing labeled datasets that facilitate the development of machine learning applications to address urgent problems has launched a new request for proposals (RFP) for funding. Lacuna Fund, which aims to support as many organizations as possible in using artificial intelligence for social good in low- and middle-income contexts, focuses on...
  • Screenshot of visualizing CO emissions from forest fires in Honduras using data from the Sentinel-5P satellite and Sentinel Hub EO Browser.
    UN-SPIDER and CEPREDENAC raise awareness about space-based products for monitoring 2020 forest fire season in Honduras Mon Jul 27 2020
    On 22 July 2020, UN-SPIDER and the Central American Coordination Centre for Natural Disaster Prevention (CEPREDENAC) joined forces to conduct a webinar on the use of novel space-based products and services to monitor forest fires that took place during the spring of 2020 in Honduras. The webinar included high ranking authorities and participants from several institutions of Honduras such as the...
  • Report cover page. Image: UNESCAP.
    UNESCAP publishes report on protecting the most vulnerable from climate extremes and COVID-19 in South Asia Thu Jul 23 2020
    The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has published a policy study concerning the impending climate risk scenarios in South Asia and their intersection with the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of this report is to facilitate policy actions that could protect communities at risk as well as to lay the foundations of resilient recovery of the most vulnerable...
  • Image: UNFPA.
    Satellite data supports UN anticipatory humanitarian action in Bangladesh Tue Jul 21 2020
    In the latest example of anticipatory humanitarian action, the United Nations released $5.2 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to help communities in Bangladesh prepare themselves ahead of major monsoon floods. The allocation of funds to agencies in the country to prepare to deliver support was triggered by a forecast from the Global Flood Awareness System (GloFAS), which...
  • Image: ESA.
    ESA releases call for Earth Explorer 11 mission ideas Mon Jul 6 2020
    The European Space Agency (ESA) has released a call for mission ideas to develop a new satellite mission that advances the scientific understanding of Earth and shows how new technologies can be used in space. The mission’s goal is to provide answers and insights on societal issues that humankind will face in the coming decades such as the availability of food, water, energy resources, as well as...
  • UNOOSA Annual Report 2019.
    UNOOSA releases 2019 Annual Report Thu Jun 25 2020
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has released its 2019 Annual Report. The 2019 report focuses on building resilience and highlights many projects and initiatives that UNOOSA engaged in during the past year to advance international cooperation in outer space. Space applications provide images and information that help monitor and mitigate climate change, reduce disaster...
  • Federal University of Santa Maria Logo. Image: University of Santa Maria.
    Federal University of Santa Maria joins network of UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices Wed Jun 17 2020
    The Federal University of Santa Maria (UFSM) has become the newest member of the network of UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices, which now consists of 24 institutions around the world. The agreement between the University and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) was signed on 27 May 2020 and is valid for three years. UFSM’s main campus is located in the city of Santa Maria,...
  • Global 3D model of urban areas, generated using TanDEM-X Satellite data. Sophisticated AI procedures are used. Image: DLR/ TUM.
    TUM and DLR launch Future Lab for Artificial Intelligence for Earth Observation Tue Jun 16 2020
    The Munich Technical University (TUM) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have launched a new initiative focussing on the development of artificial intelligence technologies in Earth observations. The Future Lab “Artificial Intelligence for Earth Observation: Reasoning, Uncertainties, Ethics and Beyond” (AI4EO) aims to use satellite data and Big Data analyses to create models of global...
  • Satellite image over the eastern part of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh. Image: European Space Agency.
    ICIMOD maps floods following Cyclone Amphan in Bangladesh to support response Tue Jun 9 2020
    To support emergency response efforts, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) has mapped the extent of floods in Bangladesh following Cyclone Amphan, which caused widespread damage in the country and neighboring India in mid-May. The maps are based on Sentinel-1 radar imagery. Radar satellite data is commonly used for flood mapping purposes due to its ability to...
  • The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission captured the fires over Borneo on 13 September 2019. Image: contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019), processed by ESA, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO.
    UN-SPIDER conduct webinar on role of satellites for forest fire management Mon Jun 8 2020
    The head of the UN-SPIDER Bonn office and a visiting scientist from the Universidad Católica de Manizales conducted a webinar entitled “Introduction to Satellite Products and Services for the Management of Forest Fires” on 10 June. The aim of this webinar was to facilitate the use of space-based information for disaster management and emergency response, in particular to monitor and forecast...
  • Fire burning in northern New Mexico captured by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 in June 2013. Image: NASA.
    UN-SPIDER webinar showcases methods to map burn severity after forest fire Mon Jun 8 2020
    At the end of April and the beginning of May 2020, Peten, the northern province or department of Guatemala, experienced severe forest fires that forced Guatemala’s National Coordinating Agency for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) to request the activation of the International Charter Space and Major Disasters to map the geographical extent of the fires. To support members of Guatemala’s technical,...
  • Image: ©FAO/Sven Torfinn.
    UN-SPIDER and IWMI host webinar on locust monitoring Fri Jun 5 2020
    On 12 June, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its UN-SPIDER programme, and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) hosted a webinar on “Space-based inputs for locust early warning and preparedness” as a commitment to promote the use of space technologies in combating a crisis that is mounting on top of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recording of the...
  • Desert locust suitable habitat survey map. Image: SUPARCO.
    SUPARCO maps potential desert locust habitats in Pakistan Thu Jun 4 2020
    The Space Application Centre for Response in Emergency and Disasters (SACRED) of the Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission of Pakistan (SUPARCO), a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office, is using space-based information to analyze areas with regards to their suitability as desert locust habitats based on vegetation, soil type and other factors. The results support surveillance and control...
  • Anak Krakatau captured by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 on 13 April 2020. Image: NASA.
    New studies use ground-based, satellite and AI technologies to improve volcanic eruption forecasting Tue Jun 2 2020
    Most of the volcanic activities are rapidly evolving phenomena, and thus, hard for volcanologists and disaster management agencies to monitor and predict. In the last four decades, however, due to the proliferation of new and innovative instruments and techniques, scientists have made progress in forecasting the timing of many volcanic eruptions. New studies have shown that combining ground-based...
  • United Nations High-Level Event on "Youth 2030". Image: UN Photo/Mark Garten.
    Space4Youth Competition 2020 launched Tue May 26 2020
    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) have launched the second edition of their Space4Youth competition. Under the title Space4Climate, this year's focus is on SDG 13, Climate Action. In order to participate, students and young professionals from any Member State of the United Nations are invited to submit an essay on the topic...
  • Sentinel-2 imagery of the area on 4 May. Image: CSSTEAP.
    CSSTEAP analyses Sardoba dam failure Tue May 19 2020
    Using space-based information, the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP) affiliated to the United Nations has analysed the recent failure of a dam around the Sardoba Reservoir in Uzbekistan. Following a week of heavy rain in the region, the wall of the dam broke on 1 May and flooded surroundings in Uzbekistan as well as Kazakhstan to the north....
  • Global monthly primary productivity. Image: ESA
    New research investigates global carbon cycle from phytoplankton satellite imagery Mon May 11 2020
    A recent study has produced a 20-year time series of primary production by marine phytoplankton, one of the largest fluxes of carbon on our planet. Studying phytoplankton primary production is important because it provides useful information about ocean biology, climate, and global carbon cycle. Observing primary production over long-time scales or quantifying its small variations can help the...
  • Water Resource Map. Image: IWMI
    IWMI and DEA partner to support water management in Africa Mon May 11 2020
    The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and Digital Earth Africa (DEA) have partnered to develop tools and applications that will support water resource management and water security in Africa. The applications will use remote-sensing and machine learning technologies and will produce measurements that can improve the understanding of Africa’s changing landscape and provide African...
  • Image: USGS.
    UNOOSA hosts webinar on Space4Health Fri May 8 2020
    On 14 May, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) hosted two sessions of a webinar on space applications to support global health, including to fight coronavirus.  During the 90-minute sessions, experts from UNOOSA, as well as from other international organisations, governments and private sector companies operating in the space sector discussed how space applications can...
  • Earth Observation Toolkit for Sustainable Cities and Communities logo. Image: GEO
    GEO and UN-Habitat open call for expressions of interest to support sustainable urban development Wed Apr 22 2020
    The Group of Earth Observations (GEO) and the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-Habitat) have opened a call for expression of interest for the “Earth Observation Toolkit for Sustainable Cities and Communities” programme. This programme aims to support UN Member States in sustainable urban development by creating a customizable and continually updated toolkit that will integrate Earth...

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