Emergency Mechanisms

In recent years the space community has set up several regional and global emergency mechanisms to support disaster response operations through the provision of maps derived from satellite imagery. This section of the UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal provides information about the following emergency mechanisms: the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) - Mapping, Sentinel Asia and SERVIR. The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) also facilitates access to relevant mapping products through its Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT).

The understanding of the organizational frameworks of these mechanisms, their activation procedures and workflows is a prerequisite to take advantage of the products they provide.

In order to support emergency reponders in using space-based data, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UESCAP), UN-SPIDER, UNOSAT, the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Management, space agencies and national disaster management authorities in ASEAN countries have published a handbook that provides procedural guidlines for sharing space-based data during emergencies. The publication highlights the need to establish standard processes in order to properly utilize space data and has been developed in close collaboration with operational staff based on best practices in the ASEAN region. "Sharing Space-based Information: Procedural Guidelines for Disaster Emergency Reponse in ASEAN Countries" can be accessed on the ESCAP website.

  1. The Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) provides all actors involved in the management of disasters, man-made emergency situations and humanitarian crises, with timely and accurate geospatial information derived from satellite remote...
  2. The International Charter on "Space and Major Disasters" is a worldwide collaboration among space agencies, through which satellite-derived information and products are made available to support disaster response efforts. The Charter has been...
  3. Sentinel Asia is a voluntary initiative led by the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF) and was established in 2005 as a collaboration amongst space and disaster management agencies under the APRSAF initiative. It supports disaster...
  4. The SERVIR mechanism is a joint venture between NASA and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It integrates satellite observations, ground-based data and forecast models to help developing nations in Central America, East...
  5. UNOSAT is a technology-intensive programme under the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) implemented with the support of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) and in partnership with UN and non-UN...

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