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First disaster responders in the Philippines now have access to mobile satellite equipment that’s more powerful and easier to deploy than ever before.

Since 2017, emergency responders have been working with communications company Inmarsat, the UK Space Agency and a consortium of NGO partners to institutionalize satellite communications into disaster response mechanisms in the country, which is regularly hit by natural disasters.

The Philippines is situated along the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Pacific Typhoon Belt, and the eastern seaboard of the Philippines, meaning the island nation is highly vulnerable to both geologic and meteorological hazards. On top of the 20 typhoons that strike the country each year, Mayon, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, is located in the country and erupts approximately every four years.

Due to the frequency of natural disasters, disaster management and response in the country is...

Publishing date 14/05/2018

In response to the increasing importance and role of science-based decision-making in disaster risk reduction, the Asia-Pacific office of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) established the Asian Science Technology Academia Stakeholder Group (ASTAAG) in May 2015. The group brings together academic, scientific and technological communities in support of the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR). 

ASTAAG convenes the Asian Science and Technology Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction on a biennial basis, the latest edition of which was held on 17-18 April 2018 in  Beijing, China, with the theme “Science-Policy Dialogue for Implementation of the Sendai Framework”.

The conference reviewed the progress on the outcome of the 1st Asian Science and Technology Conference and the commitments made by scientific, technological...

Publishing date 27/04/2018

UN-SPIDER has jointly organized a regional workshop and training course on building drought resilience together with the Geo Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), the ASEAN Research and Training Center for Space Technology and Applications (ARTSA), the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). The events were held at the Research and Training Center for Space Technology and Applications of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in Sri Racha, Thailand from 4 to 8 December.

The activities were attended by participants from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The training course provided theory-based and interactive sessions focused on Earth-observation-based tools for drought monitoring. The topics and activities included demonstration and training in the use of various drought indices;...

Publishing date 14/12/2017

The United Nations/Russian Federation Workshop on "Human Capacity-Building in Space Science and Technology for Sustainable Social and Economic Development", which took place in Samara, Russian Federation from October 30 to November 2, aimed to address the role of human capacity building for using space science, technology and its applications in support of sustainable development, with a particular focus on developing and emerging countries. The workshop was co-organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Samara National Research University, and co-sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The main objectives of the workshop were the following:

  1. An examination of the opportunities for development of human potential in relation to...
Publishing date 06/11/2017

The United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction – "Building Resilience through Integrated Applications" was opened yesterday in Beijing, China and will continue until 25 October 2017. About one hundred participants from 34 countries and 8 regions are participating in the conference.

The conference is co-organized by UN-SPIDER Beijing Office of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People's Republic of China (PRC), in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) of PRC, the Ministry of Finance of PRC, the Department of Systems Engineering, China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO). The World Bank is also supporting the conference.

The conference occasion is also used to exchange the agreement between Ministry of Civil Affairs, The People's Republic of China, and United Nations Office for Outer...

Publishing date 24/10/2017

Due to the heavy monsoon rains that have plagued Sri Lanka over the past week, severe flooding and mudslides in the Western and Southern regions have claimed at least 188 lives, displacing a further 112,000 and directly affecting more than 500,000 according to the estimates of Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka (DMC). The International Disaster Charter was activated on 26 May 2017 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) on behalf of the Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka. The International Water Management Institute (IWMI/CGIAR), a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office (RSO), acts as project coordinator for this activation.

These monsoon rains are the worst to hit Sri Lanka since 2003. They follow two months of severe drought. The district of Matara has been particularly affected. Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that there were...

Publishing date 30/05/2017
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) launched the South Asia Drought Monitoring System (SADMS) online portal. The SADMS is an early warning drought monitoring tool that provides weekly maps of drought conditions produced through the combination of satellite images of vegetation, weather data, soil moisture levels and crop yield information.  The online portal was presented at a regional workshop in New Delhi on 30 January 2017, where use of satellite data and ICT for drought monitoring was discussed.

The new portal provides near-real time information on drought and helps in data sharing and viewing of all available drought maps for the entire region. South Asia routinely suffers from drought, which has severe impacts on over one billion people depending on agriculture related livelihoods. Stakeholders attending the event praised the SADMS tool saying that the information helps to prevent these impacts. The portal then makes the information further available...

Publishing date 08/02/2017
Regional Support Offices mentioned:

The International Charter Space and Major Disasters has been activated on 25 October 2016, for Typhoon Haima which stroked Philippines on 19 October 2016. The request for activation was due to the destruction and the fatalities Haima has left on the northern part of the country. 

The activation of the charter was requested by the UNITAR'S Operational Satellite Applications Program on behalf of UNOCHA. 

CNN reported that the country was affected by two typhoons on the same week, being Sarika the first and Haima the latest. The winds reached the 315 kilometers per hour and left approximately 15.000 thousand people in shelters and 60.000 affected. The storm left heavy rain and powerful winds. For more information on this click here

Publishing date 26/10/2016

The UN-SPIDER’s Regional Support Office ICIMOD published a research article on Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems's application for environmental purposes. The study aims to show the importance of using information provided by remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) to  monitor and  understand the environment and its changes. The geographic area analyzed, Hindu Kusch Himalayan (HKH), is the largest mountain system in the world and extends from Myanmar, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, and Nepal to Pakistan hosting approximately 200 million people. The area has been experiencing glacier decrease, record rainfall, forest degradation, flood, and landslides among others.    

Publishing date 25/10/2016

An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 occurs in central Myanmar, next to the archeological site of Bagan on the 24 of August 2016.

4 people died in the disaster and dozens of historical buildings including pagodas, temples, monasteries and other structures were destroyed, according to the BBC

An aftershock of magnitude 7.0 is expected and could affect Thailand said Suwit Khosuwan on the 25 of August, senior official of the Thai Department of Mineral Resources to the Bangkok Post

The Emergency Observation of the Sentinel Asia system has been activated. Click here for more information. 

Publishing date 26/08/2016

On the 1st of August, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) captured some images of large dust storm over the Taklimakan desert.

The Chinese authorities as well as many specialists are concerned about the spreading of deserts in northern China. Indeed, “the combined effects of widespread livestock grazing, over-cultivation of marginal land, deforestation, intensive use of water resources, and climate change” contribute to enlarge dry areas. A study conducted in 2014 showed that more than 3,600 square kilometers of grasslands turned into desert in 2010


The Chinese authorities started...

Publishing date 06/08/2016

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United-States, a tropical cyclone named Nida reached Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China. 

Winds of up to 145km per hours swept some parts of the city according to the Hong Kong Observatory. Many flights were canceled as well as public transportations were stopped due to the meteorological conditions. The storm is expecting reaching the province of Guangdong, leaving the PRC on alert. Flooding is expecting on the Zhujiang River (commonly called Pearl River in English). Read more about the typhoon here: 

Some pictures of the...

Publishing date 03/08/2016

Drought is a hazard which can affect the lives of millions of people around the world. This phenomena can seriously threaten the livelihoods based on subsistence agriculture. Tradiationally, meteorological offices or departments use rainfall data to assess the magnitude and geographical extent of droughts.

In order to support efforts conducted in South-Asia related to droughts, a  South-Asia Drought Monitoring System (SADMS) is being established.  The system will make us of meteorological data, vegetation information gathered by satellites and samples of ground truth moisture and crop-yield. This system aims to contribute to drought monitoring efforts in countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 

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Publishing date 13/06/2016

The National Center for Space Research and Technology (NCSRT) of Kazakhstan is the leading institution in space-related activities. The main objective of the Center is to carry out scientific research, and steer production and economic activities in space research and technology. It encourages the use of space technologies in applications related to ife sciences, monitoring and forecasting of space weather, remote sensing of natural and man-made processes, geoinformational modeling of natural territorial complexes, ecosystems, and natural and man-made processes.  The Center uses  space technologies for monitoring and remote sensing in the fields of ecology, agriculture, geology, cartography, land use, water management, and other territorial processes.

In May 2021, NCSRT and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding to incorporate NCSRT as a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office (RSO).  As an RSO, NCSRT will contribute to the...


The Asia Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) signed the cooperation agreement on establishment of the ADRC UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office (RSO) on the occasion of the 52nd session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) on 4th June 2009.

The Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) of Pakistan and the United Nations Office of Outer space Affairs (UNOOSA) signed the cooperation agreement on the establishment of a UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office (RSO) on the occasion of the 47th Scientific and Technical Subcommittee sessions on 12 February 2010.

SUPARCO, the national space agency, was established in 1961 as a Committee and was granted the status of a Commission in 1981. SUPARCO is mandated to conduct R&D in space science, space technology, and their peaceful applications in the country. It works towards developing indigenous capabilities in space technology and promoting space applications for socio-economic uplift of the country.


Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO)
Islamabad Highway,
Islamabad-44000 Pakistan


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A Regional Support Office has been set up in the Islamic Republic of Iran, hosted by the Iranian Space Agency. Its website includes discussion forums on Capacity Building, data sharing, definitions of technical specifications, telemedicine, events, and disasters.


No 34, Shahid Soltani Street

Nelson Mandela Blvd.




  • National and international focal point for all RS activities
  • Design, manufacture, launch and use remote sensing and telecommunication satellites

Head of Institute:

Dr. Hamid Fazeli
President of the Iranian Space Agency
Email: infoatisa [dot] ir

Primary Contact...


The Asia Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) signed the cooperation agreement on establishment of the ADRC UN-SPIDER Regional Support Office (RSO) on the occasion of the 52nd session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) on 4th June 2009.