News

  • Screenshot of the Earth Map platform.
    Google and FAO develop web-based tool to facilitate big data access Fri Sep 18 2020
    Google and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations have launched a new tool that provides access to multidimensional maps and statistics showing key climate and environmental trends. Earth Map draws on the processing power of Google Earth Engine and aims to help develop insights based on satellite and FAO’s agriculturally-relevant data alike. It follows the joint...
  • A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches the SAOCOM 1B satellite. Image: Manuel Mazzanti/CONAE
    CONAE successfully launches SAOCOM 1B satellite Mon Sep 14 2020
    The Argentinean SAOCOM 1B satellite was successfully launched into orbit on 30 August 2020. Developed by the National Argentinean Space Commission (CONAE), this new satellite will join SAOCOM 1A and four Italian COSMO-SkyMed to complete the joint Italian-Argentinean Satellite System for Emergency Management (SIASGE). Like its predecessor, SAOCOM 1B was built in Argentina through a joint effort...
  • Screenshot of the FAO Hand-in-Hand geospatial platform.
    New FAO geospatial data platform to strengthen food and agriculture sectors Wed Sep 9 2020
    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has launched a geospatial data platform that aims to help build stronger food and agriculture sectors post COVID-19. The Hand-in-Hand system provides access to a wide range of data on food, agriculture, socioeconomics and natural resources. The platform features over one million geospatial layers and thousands of statistics series...
  • Tropical cyclone Fani over the eastern coast of India on 2 May 2019. Image: NASA.
    CRED publishes 2019 disaster statistics Thu Aug 20 2020
    According to the latest issue of an annual disaster statistics report, floods were the deadliest type of disasters in 2019, followed by extreme temperature, while storms affected the highest number of people. Published by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), “Natural disasters 2019 - Now is the time to not give up” draws on data recorded in the Emergency Events...
  • Floods in Bangladesh in 2019. Image: UN Women Asia and the Pacific.
    ICIMOD supports disaster management with streamflow prediction and flood mapping Wed Aug 19 2020
    The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is leveraging space-based information to support government and humanitarian agencies in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region with timely information for flood early warning and inundation mapping. The efforts, which consist of developing a streamflow prediction system for flood early warning and of providing near real-time...
  • Report cover.
    Aerospace Information Research Institute of China tracks locust swarm dynamics and losses Thu Aug 13 2020
    At the end of 2019, countries in the Horn of Africa began to suffer the impacts of locust swarms. Later, the locust migrated to regions in Southwest Asia. Unfortunately, the impacts on farmers are devastating. Furthermore, the combined impact of these locust plague and COVID-19 is having a toll of the livelihoods of many farmers in these regions. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the...
  • Areas flooded and damaged following cyclone Idai, northwest of Beira. Image: European Union/Christian Jepsen.
    UN-SPIDER and UFSM of Brazil deliver webinar on flood mapping and drought monitoring in Mozambique Mon Aug 10 2020
    In recent years, Mozambique has suffered severe floods and droughts that have impacted urban and rural communities throughout the country. In the March and April 2019, tropical cyclones Idai and Kenneth triggered major floods in Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe, and Comoros.  The Port of Beira was hard hit, as cyclone Idai destroyed transmission lines and bridges, leaving the port without access to...
  • Field Work on Ogunpa flood plain Ibadan, Nigeria. Image: GMES.
    CSSTE creates data bank for flood events in West Africa Mon Aug 10 2020
    Floods are among the most frequent natural hazards around the world, as well as in Africa, and can trigger devastating disasters among the most vulnerable communities. Climate change, and inadequate land-use/land-cover changes can exacerbate this situation and may erode hard-won gains in many developing countries. The first step to reduce the impacts of such floods is to understand the dynamics...
  • 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...

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