UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission to Solomon Islands concluded

At the request of the Government of the Solomon Islands, UN-SPIDER carried out a Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) from 24 to 28 September 2012. The goal was to evaluate the current and potential use of space-based information in all the aspects of disaster management and strengthen disaster risk management in the country by providing better access to space-based information for disaster risk reduction as well as response. The mission began with pre-TAM discussions of the mission team with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) of Solomon Islands. The mission team visited several offices during the first three days, including the Ministry of Mines, the National Geographic Information Centre, Ministry of Infrastructure & Development, the School of Natural Resources and the Marine Department. The mission team also met with representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

These meetings provided an insight to these agencies' roles in the national disaster management processes with an emphasis on space-based and geospatial information. Additionally, a one day workshop was conducted, which was attended by 25 persons from the government departments, UN agencies, NGOs and private companies involved in using geospatial technologies for disaster management. The workshop included presentations from various Solomon Islands Government departments and the mission experts. The second half of the workshop was dedicated to a brainstorming session inviting the participants to contribute to improving the use of space technologies in disaster management. The workshop was effective in generating awareness and getting valuable inputs to strengthen space technology in disaster management.

On the last day, the TAM team briefed the Director of NDMO on their findings, which led to a discussion about follow up actions in the near future. The observations and recommendations will be compiled in the form of a report which will be shared with the Solomon Islands Government and UN organisations.