Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777

The International Charter: Space and Major Disasters was activated yesterday to provide satellite images and image products in search of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The international mechanism was triggered by China Meteorological Administration, which will also do the project management for the activation.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared from radar over the South China Sea on 7 March 2014. The jet was carrying 239 people (12 crew and 227 passengers) and has yet to be found despite a multi-national search.

Publishing Date: 12/03/2014

UN-SPIDER, represented through Mr. Shirish Ravan of the UN-SPIDER Beijing Office, participated in the 13th ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief and presented the topic "Role of space based information in Disaster Risk Reduction: UN-SPIDER Interventions". In his presentation, Mr Ravan underscored the importance of relaying early warning messages of impending disasters to residents.

The 13th ASEAN Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief took place from 26 to 28 February 2014 in Chengdu, China. Participants discussed early warning and assessment of risks, military-civil coordination, humanitarian assistance stockpiles management, damage assessment, recovery and reconstruction, and the future direction of regional disaster relief cooperation including preparations for the ASEAN Regional Forum Disaster Relief Exercises in 2015.

... read more
Publishing Date: 03/03/2014
Air pollution in Eastern China

According to a study conducted by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Texas A&M University, the air pollution in Asia is affecting global climate and weather patterns.

The researchers used air pollution and meteorology data from the last 30 years and concluded that the air pollution originating from Asia has an impact on the upper atmosphere and can potentially strengthen storms and cyclones.

Big manufacturing factories, industrial plants, power plants and other industrial facilities release small particles in the atmosphere and the situation worsens through coal burning, car emission and stagnant weather. Satellite information helps track the impacts of the pollution on cloud formations, storm intensity and other factors that eventually impact the climate globally.

Publishing Date: 27/01/2014
Satellite image of Beijing, China

China is planning to expand its homegrown Beidou navigation system by 2020 and make it accurate to within centimeters. Up until now the Chinese system has 16 satellites and it is expected to grow to 30 by 2020.

Currently the system reaches an error margin as low as 5 meters. With the improvements China hopes to be able to compete with the US GPS. The system serves the Asia-Pacific region a year now and hopes to expand coverage to other Asian countries.

Beidou is the only satellite navigation system that offers telecommunication services. That means that, apart from giving users location and time information, Beidou can also send users' information to other people and communicate with users via text messages.

Publishing Date: 07/01/2014
Smog over China seen from Space by NASA

China's high definition Earth Observation satellite Gaofen-1 has been officially put in service on Monday, 30 December 2013, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND), as the News Agency Xinhua reported. Gaofen-1 has successfully undergone eight months of in-orbit tests after being launched on April 26 and has sent high definition photos to Earth. China's use of remote-sensing satellite has entered a new phase, said Xu Dazhe, head of the SASTIND.

The satellite will help in geographic and resources surveys, environment and climate change monitoring, precision agriculture, disaster relief and city planning. During the test period, Gaofen-1 already provided data on the... read more

Publishing Date: 03/01/2014
Smog covers Eastern China

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured an image of the haze spreading from Beijing to Shanghai on 7 December 2013. The expansion of the smog to the south of China is not that common as for the northeast.

The fog has distinguishing features that makes it appear grey and smooth on the images. Ground-based sensors reported a level Particulate Matter smaller than 2.5 microns in the air to be as high as 480 and 355 per cubic meter of air in Beijing and Shanghai. WHO considers levels below 25 to be safe. The Air Quality Index was also with more than 800% above what is considered good.

In some cities, authorities ordered school children to stay indoors, pulled government vehicles off the road, and halted construction in an attempt to reduce the smog, according to news reports.

Publishing Date: 12/12/2013
The satellite will be used to aid in preventing and reducing natural disasters

On 20 November 2013 China successfully launched the Yaogan XIX, a remote-sensing satellite. Yaogan XIX was sent into scheduled orbit on the back of a Long March 4C carrier rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Taiyuan, capital of north China's Shanxi Province.

According to the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center, the satellite will be used to aid in preventing and reducing natural disasters, conduct scientific experiments, carry out land surveys and monitor crop yields.

This launch marks the 184th mission for the nation's Long March rocket family.

Publishing Date: 28/11/2013
The training course strengthened the capacity of NDRCC

From 21 to 22 October 2013, the UN-SPIDER Beijing office will organize an interactive training session in Beijing, China to strengthen the capacity of the National Disaster Reduction Centre of China (NDRCC) to effectively embed Space technologies in their activities. The training focused on disaster risk assessment (especially flood and drought), relief needs assessment, situation analysis, early warning systems, and international standards related to disaster prevention. Experts from the Delta University (United States), UN OCHA Thailand, University of Twente (Netherlands), International Water Management Institute (Sri Lanka) and Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) of UNDP shared their experience and best practices in using space technology and geospatial information in disaster management.

The NDRCC was established to serve the China’s needs in the field of disaster prevention and reduction. A comprehensive operational system is now working efficiently at the... read more

Publishing Date: 01/11/2013
26 participants learned about Flood and Drought Mapping and Assessment.

From 27-31 October 2013, the UN-SPIDER Beijing Office organized a capacity building programme in Beijing, China to strengthen the capacity of the countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. 26 participants from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cameroon, Ghana, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Malawi, Mongolia, Mozambique, Pakistan, Peru, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam participated in the training.

The training was organized jointly with Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation (APSCO) and National Disaster Reduction Centre of China (NDRCC). It was conducted by experts from the UN-SPIDER Beijing Office, the University of Twente (Netherlands), the International Water Management Institute (Sri Lanka) and NDRCC. During the training course, hands-on sessions were offered on flood risk assessment, global and regional flood risk monitoring, remote sensing based flood risk models and drought monitoring and risk assessment.

The training course was organized back-to-back with the... read more

Publishing Date: 01/11/2013
Participants of the UN-SPIDER Beijing Conference on Disaster Risk Identification

The United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Management - "Disaster Risk Identification, Assessment and monitoring“ was successfully inaugurated on 23 October 2013 in Beijing, China. This conference held from 23 to 25 October 2013 is co-organized by UNOOSA and the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in collaboration with the Department of Treaty and Law, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of PRC, the Department of Social Security, the Ministry of Finance of PRC, the Department of System Engineering, China National Space Administration of PRC, the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization and with the support of DigitalGlobe.

163 participants from 27 countries representing more than 60 organizations including 7 international/regional organizations, government agencies, universities, private companies and NGOs are participating in the conference. The conference brings together numerous countries that have... read more

Publishing Date: 23/10/2013
The new Chinese national emergency geospatial data system uses World Map, China'

China has established a national emergency geospatial data system to provide first-responders with detailed maps within two hours after a disaster, as the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported. The data system is based on satellite data, as well as information collected by unmanned planes and surveying instruments. It uses Map World (the Chinese version of Google Earth).

Xinhhua reported: "The national geospatial data system was established after April 20, when a magnitude-7.0 earthquake rocked Ya'an, Sichuan province. Only two hours after the quake, the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation produced its first detailed map of the region. That set in motion a wave of support for the national agency from the central government. By comparison, it took nearly nine hours for a map to be produced after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake, which means mapping technology at the national agency has... read more

Publishing Date: 22/10/2013
Northern China seen from Space.

In late September, China's Long March 4C launch vehicle has launched the Fengyun 3C meteorological satellite from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center.

SpaceFlight101 reported: "The Fengyun 3C (=Wind & Clouds) satellite is the third in China's second-generation of operational low-orbiting meteorological satellites built by the Shanghai Academy of Space Technology. The FY-3 platform is three-axis stabilized with precise pointing capability.

FY-3 satellites carry a single sun-tracking solar array and feature a satellite bus capable of carrying a number of payloads to provide global all-weather Earth observations in multiple spectral bands. The satellites also support three dimensional imaging."

Publishing Date: 08/10/2013

UN-SPIDER Training Activity

International Training Course on Integration of Multisource Earth Observation Data for Disaster Damage Assessment

The aim of the training was to make participants conversant with use of Multi-source Earth Observation (including satellite and UAV, optical and microwave data, remote sensing and Geographical Information System, 3D modeling and other geospatial technology) in flood and earthquake damage assessment in particular. The training resulted in imparting skills to identify damaged infrastructure and...

Date of training: 25/10/2017 to 31/10/2017
International Training Course on Space-based Technologies for Flood and Drought Monitoring and Risk Assessment

Trainees will gain skills to process satellite imagery to generate specific products useful in case of floods and droughts and for risk assessment. 

Date of training: 22/09/2016 to 27/09/2016
"Applications of Space Information Technology in Major Natural Disaster Monitoring and Assessment" and "Development of mechanisms for acquisition and utilisation of space-based information during emergency response"

The EAS workshop included sessions on advance remote sensing technologies as well as the service of space based information for space-based disaster risk reduction. A special focus was placed on technology and applications using multi-source and multi-scale imagery for disaster management, acquisition mechanisms and networks, platforms for disaster management, a well as public-private...

Date of training: 02/06/2015 to 05/06/2015
Multi‐hazard disaster Risk Mapping using space technology

The training course in space-based applications for use in disaster risk reduction was held in Beijing, China, from 18 to 23 September 2014. The course immediately followed the United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Management:...

Date of training: 18/09/2014 to 23/09/2014
Capacity Building Programme for Flood and Drought Mapping

During the training course, hands-on sessions were offered on flood risk assessment, global and regional flood risk monitoring, remote sensing based flood risk models and drought monitoring and risk assessment. The training course was organized back-to-back with the United Nations International Conference on Disaster Risk Identification, Assessment and Monitoring, which took place from 23 to...

Date of training: 27/10/2013 to 31/10/2013
Capacity Building Programme on Space technology for Flood & Drought Risk Mapping and Assessment

The course focused on disaster risk assessment (especially flood and drought), relief needs assessment, situation analysis, early warning systems, and international standards related to disaster prevention and mitigation. The objective of the training was to strengthen the capacity of the national agencies to use geospatial technologies for flood and drought management. It provided an insight...

Date of training: 21/10/2013 to 22/10/2013
Space technology for drought monitoring in Africa and Asia

The objective of the training course was to strengthen the capacity of national agencies in the use of space-based technologies for drought monitoring and assessment. The training included comprehensive hands-on sessions based on data sets (satellite images) prepared for Africa and Asia. The main topics were drought management and space technology; satellite data processing and spatial-...

Date of training: 11/11/2012 to 16/11/2012

Advisory Support

After the “United Nations International Conference on Space‐based Technologies for Disaster Management”, the UN-SPIDER Beijing office organized an interactive training session in Beijing, China from 21 to 22 October 2013 as part of an Institutional Strengthening Mission. The aim was to strengthen the capacity of the National Disaster Reduction Centre of China (NDRCC) to effectively embed Space technologies in their activities.

Mission dates: 21/10/2013 to 22/10/2013


The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs is pleased to announce the 9th Annual UN-SPIDER Conference in Beijing United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction – A Policy Perspective”, to be held from 11 to 12 September 2019. This conference will also celebrate 10 years of the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) in Beijing, China – the UN-SPIDER Beijing Office.

The occasion will be used for acknowledging the achievements of the countries and efforts of its partners in utilizing space-based and geospatial information in disaster management and emergency response.


Day 1 - 11 September 2019

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The 6th International Conference on Earth Observation for Environmental Changes (EOEC 2019) and the 8th International Conference on Geo-information Technologies for Natural Disaster Management (GiT4NDM 2019) will held a joint event under the theme "Earth observation and geospatial data sharing for sustainable development" from 24 to 26 June in Chengdu, China.

The joint event aims to advance research and development, as well as to encourage innovative applications of geomatics technologies in environmental change studies, geospatial information management toward implementation of sustainable development goals and 2030 smart environment and cities using artificial intelligence and deep learning. The joint event will also address the international co-operation in environmental change studies using advanced geospatial tools, spatiotemporal models and earth... read more

The Global Flood Partnership is a multi-disciplinary group of scientists, operational agencies and flood risk managers focused on developing efficient and effective global flood tools that can address these challenges. Its aim is to establish a partnership for global flood forecasting, monitoring and impact assessment to strengthen preparedness and response and to reduce global disaster losses.

The registration for the 2019 Global Flood Partnership Annual Meeting is open! This year's meeting will take place on 11 - 13 June 2019 in Guangzhou, China hosted by Sun Yat-sen University.

An updated draft agenda is available and can be found here

Instructions for participants are available ... read more

Organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the China National Space Administration (CNSA), the "United Nations/China Forum on Space Solutions: Realizing the Sustainable Development Goals" will take place in Changsha, China, from 24 to 27 April 2019. By bringing together providers and users of space solutions, the Forum aims to forge new partnerships, enhance international space cooperation and contribute to the attainment of the SDGs.

Specific objectives

  • Overviewing the current status and future trends of space contributing to the SDGs
  • Contributing to identifying Member States’ needs for space, space solutions for the SDGs, and gaps between needs and solutions
  • Enhancing existing partnerships and buildingnew partnerships among multi-stakeholders and contributingdirectly to SDG 17
  • Contributing to the building-up of the Belt and Road Space Information Corridor
  • Promoting the important role of... read more

The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), as the Secretariat for the Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM), in collaboration with the Government of China, through the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Zhejiang Provincial Government, will be hosting the United Nations World Geospatial Information Congress (UNWGIC) in Deqing, Zhejiang Province, China from 19-21 November 2018.

The convening of the UNWGIC arises out of the mandate from the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) to the Committee of Experts to convene global forums to promote comprehensive dialogue on global geospatial information management with all relevant governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

With an overarching theme "The Geospatial Way to a Better World" the UNWGIC will be a truly global event bringing together all stakeholders at the highest level to address and ensure that geospatial information has its widest... read more


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