9th annual meeting of UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices opens in Vienna

Representatives from the network of UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices (RSO) convene in Vienna for the 9th Annual RSO Coordination Meeting from 18 to 19 June. Held at the United Nations Offices in Vienna, the meeting provides the 23 RSOs the opportunity to propose concrete ways in which they, respectively, could further collaborate with UN-SPIDER and also with other RSOs. The event is a forum for discussion of innovative approaches to disaster management using space-based technologies.

At the meeting, RSO representatives discussed lessons learned from their respective regional capacity-building and knowledge and awareness-raising activities, and their experiences working with the  International Charter “Space and Major Disasters”. Additional discussions included the development and use of models which utilize space-based data to refine risk assessments and guide disaster risk reduction activities.

Participants also highlighted recent RSO contributions to the UN-SPIDER Knowledge Portal and discussed future areas of collaboration on content for the website. So far, several RSOs have provided Recommended Practices on using space technology to monitor and address the impact of natural disasters.

Yet another topic covered at the meeting, which also saw the signing of a new cooperation agreement  was the growing need for UN-SPIDER and its RSO network to raise awareness about the prevalence of, and threats associated with, near earth objects (NEO) when working with national disaster management agencies.

Operating within their respective local contexts, RSOs play a key role in building capacity for the use of space-based technologies for disaster mitigation, response, and management, and providing technical advisory support with assistance from UN-SPIDER. An RSO may be hosted by a space agency, a research center, a university, or a disaster management institution, to name just a few examples.

Further information on all RSOs can be found here.