United Nations/Germany International Conference on Earth Observation – Global solutions for the challenges of sustainable development in societies at risk

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German Aerospace Center (DLR ), German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) with the support of Secure World Foundation, the City of Bonn, and Digital Globe


26/05/2015 to 28/05/2015



2015 will be a decisive year for the international community paving the way for sustainable development worldwide. Three important processes led by the United Nations are underway leading to three agreements expected for 2015: the Post 2015 Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction (March 2015), the Sustainable Development Goals (September 2015), and the new Climate Change Agreement (December 2015). Geoinformation and especially Earth Observation provide indispensable data to support informed decision making at local, national, regional and global level to reduce disaster risks, improve adaptation to climate change, prepare better for unavoidable losses and damages, and deliver on the promise of sustainable development.

The United Nations/Germany International Conference on Earth Observation – Global solutions for the challenges of sustainable development in societies at risk aimed at bridging the gap between Earth Observation experts and decision makers to find Earth observation solutions that match the challenges of governments in societies at risk. The objectives were to address important challenges, demonstrate existing solutions, identify future potential, and facilitate collaboration. The space community has already started a global effort to contribute to the new framework for disaster-risk reduction. The conference served as a platform to facilitate the coordination of this open group to help countries in their efforts to institutionalize the use of space-based information for disaster risk reduction. Sustainable development, adaptation to climate change, managing climate-change induced extreme weather events, dealing with losses and damages, and reducing disaster risks are strongly interlinked processes. The conference provided a setting for decision makers and experts to agree on ways to use Earth Observation in combination with in-situ data to track progress in reaching the targets in the Post-2015 frameworks.

Read more about the outcomes of the conference in the UN-SPIDER news article.

More details are available in the information note and in the agenda.

Keynote presentations
Simonetta Di Pippo (UNOOSA): Space technologies for the post-2015 development agenda - UN processes and UNOOSA's role Download
Special Talk
Alexander Gerst (ESA): The blue dot perspective Download
Session 1: The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2013 - Opportunities for Earth observation
Günter Strunz (DLR): The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction - Opportunities for Earth observation Download
Pedro Basabe (UNISDR): Outcome of the Third UN WCDRRR - The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015- 20130 Download
Juan Carlos Villagran de Leon (UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER): UN-SPIDER efforts in the context of the Sendai framework for Disaster Risk Reduction Download
Session 1, Working Group 1: Earth observation to support the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030
Shunichi Koshimura (Tohoku University, Japan): Advances of Remote Sensing for Mapping Disaster Impact Download
Nataliia Kussul (Space Research Institute NAS and SSA, Ukraine): Druoght risk assessment in Ukraine using satellite data Download
Summary of working group discussion points Download
Session 1, Working Group 2: National Information Needs
Axel Rottländer (DKKV): Collaboration between science and practicioners Download
Pema Thinley (Department of Disaster Management, Bhutan): Disaster Management in Bhutan: The demand for information Download
Summary of working group discussion points Download
Session 1, Working Group 3: The Sendai Framework on DRR Global Partnership on Earth observation
Summary of working group discussion points Download
Session 2: Current capabilities and future potentials of Earth observation to support climate change agreements
Florin Vladu (UNFCCC): Systematic observations of the climate system under the UNFCCC: An overview Download
Kenneth Holmlund (GCOS): Global Climate Observing System and the role of satellite data in climate monitoring Download
Hansjörg Dittus (DLR): Implementation of reliable control mechanisms from Space to ensure the adherence of climate change agreements Download
Session 2, Working Group 1: Systematic observation for climate change mitigation
Laras Toersilowati (LAPAN, Indonesia): Impact of land use and land cover changes on the urban climate and environment, studied with satellite observation, GIS, weather research forecast model, and atmospheric database management Download
Summary of working group discussion points Download
Session 2, Working Group 2: Systematic observation and monitoring for climate change adaptation and loss & damage
Durairaju Kumaran Raju (Geoscience Consulting, Singapore): Vulnerability and risk assessment - A pilot study for central region of Singapore Download
Francis Ohemeng (Ghana Irrigation Development Authority): The irrigation sub-sector contribution to adaptation measures in Ghana Download
Summary of working group discussion points Download
Session 2, Working Group 3: Extreme climatic events
Shirish Ravan (UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER): Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction: Space technology initiatives, challenges, and opportunities Download
Julio Castillo (Mexican Space Agency): Remote sensing applications for the mitigation of floods in Mexico Download
Session 3: Global Development Agenda and national needs
Niklas Hedman (UNOOSA): Global Space Governance: The role of COPUOS and UN-Space Download
Thomas Kemper (EC JRC): The need for global fine scale settlement mapping and monitoring Download
Bettina Menne (WHO): Space-based information for health and SDGs Download
Session 4: Solutions to address these challenges
Nilesh Mistry (Digital Globe): Seeing a better world Download
Thomas Häusler (GAF AG): Contribution of EO to the Monitoring of Deforestation and Degradation in the Context of REDD Download
Stefano Natali (SISTEMA GmbH): The multi-sensor evolution analysis (MEA) system as support tool for global sustainable development challenges Download
Karin Schenk (EOMAP GmbH): Harmonized multi-resolution water quality monitoring services for inland and coastal waters Download
Peter Zeil (EC Copernicus): Providing operational services in a sustainable manner - who does what best? Download
Special session: Joint UN-Space - Bonn Conference High Level Panel on Space-based information for development
Kenneth Holmlund (GCOS) Download
Jakob Rhyner (UNU-EHS) Download
Session 5: Enhancing resilience: The role of space mechanisms
Francoise Villette (EC Copernicus): Copernicus Emergency Service Download
Jens Danzeglocke (DLR): The International Charter "Space and Major Disasters" Download
Luc St-Pierre (UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER): How UN-SPIDER contributes to sustainable development Download
Stefan Voigt (DLR): DLR Center for Satellite Based Crisis Information (ZKI) Download
Suju Li (NDRCC): Practices on Using Earth Observation Resources for Disaster Risk Reduction in China Download



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