United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Management - “A consolidating role in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-2030”

United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China

Mon, 14 Sep - Wed, 16 Sep 2015


The UN-SPIDER Beijing Office successfully conducted the “United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Management - “A consolidating role in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-2030”, from 14 to 16 September 2015. (read related news article)


The conference was attended by more than 100 participants from about 32 countries representing 82 organizations from Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean regions


The main aim of the conference were to produce an outcome document with guidelines to Member States to integrate Earth observation and geospatial technologies in implementing the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-2030.

The conference built upon the outcomes of the Third United Nations Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) (Sendai, Japan, March 2015) and on the related commitments of UNOOSA:

  • Facilitate the coordination of Earth observation (EO) stakeholders as proposed in the White Paper “A global partnership for Earth observation to support nations in their disaster risk reduction efforts”;
  • Hold the United Nations/Germany International Conference on Earth Observation: Global solutions for the challenges of sustainable development in societies at risk (Bonn, Germany, 26 to 28 May 2015);
  • Continued promotion of EO benefits to sustainable development towards the Summit on Sustainable Development Goals (NY, September 2015) and the 21st Conference of the Parties to UNFCCC (Paris, December 2015).

Thus, the conference was one more step in that long-term effort of UNOOSA and UN-SPIDER building on the commitments of the Sendai Framework and of the global development agenda. One of the unique features of the conference was to integrate Earth observation and space-based technologies to applications of disaster risk reduction (DRR). The efforts of UNOOSA are also under the umbrella of its preparation to UNISPACE+50 which will mark in 2018 the 50th anniversary the First United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE). A series of events leading to UNISPACE+50 will address challenges to humanity and sustainable development, the protection of the space environment, and securing the long-term sustainability of outer space activities.

Conference sessions

Session 1: Earth observation in understanding disaster risk (reference to Priority 1 of the Sendai Framework for DRR)

This session discussed various means to be adapted by Member States and supporting international/regional organisations in understanding disaster risk, especially based on the use of Earth observation technologies. This included tools, technologies as well as peripheral issues such as data sharing, spatial data infrastructure, institutional coordination, etc. Recommended practices and experiences in this context were shared by the panellists and discussed by all participants.

Session 2: Earth observation in enhancing preparedness for effective response (reference to Priority 4 of the Sendai Framework for DRR)

UN-SPIDER has discussed this topic for the ASEAN region through workshops on ‘Development of mechanisms for acquisition and utilisation of space-based information during emergency response’ and also contributing to International Working Group on Satellite Emergency Mapping (IWG-SEM). The session focussed on the lessons learnt from these initiatives and experiences from mega-disasters such as the recent earthquake in Nepal. The session intended to provide guidance on how to prepare for effective use of Earth observation for efficient  response by addressing issues such as prerequisite of data, data access, skills and capacity, emergency mapping products and product dissemination. This session also discussed the methods and present case studies demonstrating the use of space–based information for disaster damage and loss assessment and discuss ways to standardize the role of Earth Observation beyond emergency mapping, providing valuable information in damage and loss assessments.

Session 3: Foster public and private collaboration

Many private enterprises offer advanced Earth observation satellites products and tools thereby adding value to the original data from satellite images or how they are distributed, accessed and analysed. The public sector is now often partnering with the private sector in developing space assets. In order to explore the full potential of Earth observation technologies for disaster management and implementing the Sendai Framework for DRR, there is an immense need to further foster this public and private partnership. The session discussed the opportunities offered through public and private collaboration and it provided insights on advanced Earth observation satellites, online platforms to access satellite data archives and near real time data, investments needed to work with private companies to get assured access to satellite images during emergencies and ways to develop partnerships.

Session 4: Empowering the communities to prepare for disasters

In 2014, UN-SPIDER carried out the event entitled “Geospatially enabling community collaboration” in Vietnam to involve large number of stakeholder organisations in using geospatial technologies for disaster management. This topic needs further attention as community-based disaster risk reduction (CBDRR) is an important priority of governments. This session discussed the tools, technologies, methods and present case studies demonstrating how communities and the general public can make use of space-based information for building disaster resilience. The session intended to discuss ideas on how to involve communities to identify risks during normal situations, provide early warning prior to disaster and assess disaster damage and loss during disasters.

Session 5: Engaging with UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER in the streamlining of EO in decision-making for DRR and sustainable development

UN-SPIDER is offering technical advisory support to several countries. This session aimed at encouraging the engagement of Member States and partner organisations with the UN-SPIDER Programme. The session discussed recommended practices of using space-based information and the impacts of the technical advisory support offered through the UN-SPIDER Programme. This session sought to identify concrete joint actions in support of the commitments of UNOOSA and UN-SPIDER presented in the introduction of this document.

Working groups

Working groups were organised to discuss the cooperation related to various thematic topics such as Global Navigation Satellite Systems for disaster management, disaster risk reduction mapping services and products for specific disasters, information sharing and cooperation projects in this area.



Keynote presentations
Sujit Mohanty (UNDRR): Implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030Download
Simonetta di Pippo (UNOOSA): The Office for Outer Space Affairs bringing space-­based tools and applications at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable DevelopmentDownload
Deren Li (LIESMARS Wuhan University China): Research on Chinese natural disaster reduction system of systems (CNDRSS)Download
Shirish Ravan (UNOOSA): Earth observation in implementing Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-20130 - UN-SPIDER effortsDownload
Session 1: Earth observation in understanding disaster risk (reference to Priority 1 of the Sendai Framework for DRR)
Sujit Mohanty (UNDRR): Understanding disaster risk - foundation for disaster risk reduction and resilienceDownload
Peeranan Towashiraporn (ADPC): Utilizing satellite-based information for disaster risk assessment - why and how?Download
Keran Wang (UN ESCAP): Promoting EO applications for disaster risk reduction in Asia and the PacificDownload
Basanta Shreshtha (ICIMOD): Nepal Earthquake 2015 - innovative information platform for disaster response and recoveryDownload
Donghua Pan (NDRCC): Theory and practice of annual natural disaster risk assessmentDownload
Session 2: Earth observation in enhancing preparedness for effective response (reference to Priority 4 of the Sendai Framework for DRR)
Fan Yida (NDRCC): Application of high resolution Earth observation system on the disaster monitoring and assessmentDownload
Chunling Liu (Chinese Ministry of Land and Resource): Geology hazard monitoring and risk assessmentDownload
Eriksen Mafra (Civil Defence Brazil): Brazilian Civil Defense - challenges for effective responses during emergenciesDownload
Francoise Villette (European Commission): CopernicusDownload
Khaled Mashfiq (UNOSAT): Earth observation for disaster response - Building capacities and providing solutions in the Asia Pacific regionDownload
Qu Guosheng (China Earthquake Administration): Emergency response for search and rescue of Nepal earthquake (from the report of CISAR and UNOCHA)Download
Session 3: Foster public and private collaboration
Qiang Zhang (Beijing Normal University): The framework for social participation in DRM - Experiences and lessons from ChinaDownload
Milind Pimprikar (CANEUS, Canada): GlobalSat for disaster risk reduction - A new global platform to fulfill sustainable development commitments in the Post-2015 frameworkDownload
Jon Song (Digital Globe): Seeing a better world through public and provate collaboration - A DigitalGlobe perspectiveDownload
Ross Sovann (Cambodia): The Importance of Spatial Data and the use of Geoportal in Disaster Management: “Public-Private Partnership in SFDRR Implementation”Download
Marc Andre (Swiss Embassy in Beijing): PPP and DRR: Sino-Swiss Cooperation Project on Monitoring and Early Warning in the area of Yarkant River, Xinjiang province, P.R. ChinaDownload
Session 4: Empowering the communities to prepare for disasters
Du Yuan (UNICEF): Child-Centred Disaster Risk Reduction: UNICEF’s experience in ChinaDownload
Zhu Yicun (CFPA): Relevant Information and Thinking on Nepal Earthquake Relief WorkDownload
Papori Barooah (Girl's Polytechnic India): Alternative technologies in educating for enhanced community participation in earthquake disaster risk reductionDownload
Nama Budhathoki (Kathmandu Living Labs): Engaging Community in OpenStreetMappingDownload
Yang Siquan (NDRCC): Social mobilization and service for disaster reductionDownload
Session 5: Engaging with UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER in the streamlining of EO in decision-making for DRR and sustainable development
Regional Support Offices 
Abdolreza Ansari Amoli (ISA)Download
Muhammad Farooq  (SUPARCO)Download
Sayidah Sulma (LAPAN)Download
Countries working with UN-SPIDER 
Ailap Boupha (LaoPDR)Download
Amna Hamid (Sudan)Download
Huy Bui (Vietnam)Download
Igor Honwana (Mozambique)Download
Jigme Chogyal (Butan)Download
Netai Serkar (Bandladesh)Download
UNOOSA Regional Centre for Space Science Technology Education: China and India 
Sarnam (India)Download
Wang Jingnong (China)Download
Working Groups
Working Group 1: Drought – How UN-SPIDER network can support? 
Liu Ming (NDRCC): Experiences of drought monitoring and risk assessment in ChinaDownload
Abdolreza Ansari Amoli (ISA): Introducing the new published booklet - Effective use of space-based information to monitor disasters and its impacts, Lessons learnt from drought in IranDownload
Wu Guoxiang (NRSCC): Asia-Pacific regional collaborative mechanism on drought monitoring and early warning and its service node of ChinaDownload
Amna Hamid Elton (RSSA): The Status of Disaster Risk Management in SudanDownload
Amna Hamid Elton (RSSA): UN-­SPIDER Support to SudanDownload
TS Sridhar (IAS): IndiaDownload
Working Group 2: Lesson Learned from Nepal Earthquake – Earth observation perspective 
Working Group 3: Capacity building and emerging technologies 
Concluding Session
Eriksen Mafra (Civil Defense Brazil): Outcome of Session 2 "Earth observation in enhancing preparedness for effective response (reference to Priority 4 of the Sendai Framework for DRR)"Download
Peeranan Towashiraporn (ADPC): Empowering the communities to prepare for disastersDownload


International training programme

17 to 22 September 2015

An International Training Programme was organised for 25 participants of the conference with the support of the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation (APSCO) and the National Disaster Reduction Centre of China (NDRCC).

Title: Hands on training programme on “Earth observation technologies for earthquake damage and loss assessment”

(read related news article)


Point of Contact

Administrative matters:

Ms. Yuan GAO (yuan.gao [at] unoosa.org (yuan[dot]gao[at]unoosa[dot]org) Tel: +86 10 5281 1371)

Technical matters:

Ms. Longfei LIU (longfei.liu [at] unoosa.org (longfei[dot]liu[at]unoosa[dot]org), Tel: +86 10 5281 1372)

If necessary, cc your mails to Mr. Shirish Ravan (shirish.ravan [at] unoosa.org (shirish[dot]ravan[at]unoosa[dot]org))

Disaster managers, policy makers, providers of space technology solutions/tools/applications from governments, academia, research, NGO and corporate sector.
Grand Gongda Jianguo Hotel
Attachment Size
Information for participants (259.55 KB) 259.55 KB
Agenda (1.43 MB) 1.43 MB
Information Note (1.21 MB) 1.21 MB
Concept Note (198.62 KB) 198.62 KB