Disaster Mitigation and Earth Observations: A GEOSS Perspective

When: Monday, January 13, 2014

Where: Centre International de Conférences Genève, Room 15 (level -1), 17 rue de Varembé, CH - 1211 Geneva, Switzerland

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Earth observations and information, derived both from space and surface networks, have demonstrated not only their maturity, but a critical role in supporting first responders and risk managers by providing effective tools to rapidly map damages and impacts during rescue operations.

GEO through its 150 partners comprised of 90 Governments, UN Organizations including UNISDR, and scientific associations, is working to expand the use of satellite imagery and surface data for managing risks posed by fires, floods, earthquakes and other hazards; the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters plays a major role in this effort.

In the specific case of geologic hazards, GEO is supporting risk modelling through the implementation of the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) initiative, and is helping the scientific community better understand the causes and dynamics of geological threats through the Geohazard Supersites and Natural Laboratories (GSNL) initiative.

GEO is promoting broad open data policies and practices, real-time data-sharing and standardized procedures and practices in general, and specifically for tsunami hazard assessments. GEO is developing a globally-coordinated warning system for wild land fires to improve prediction and emergency response at the local, national and regional levels.

The GEO Community is developing decision-support tools and applications for the full cycle of natural-disaster management, particularly for developing countries.

Space agencies through the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) -- the space coordination arm of GEO -- have created a Disaster Working Group to help improve disaster risk management (DRM) on a global basis, for all phases of disaster management. CEOS is now preparing an Observation Strategy and three coordinated pilots in the areas of floods, volcanoes and seismic hazards. In addition, and still within the framework of GEO, CEOS is conducting regional demonstrations of a multi-hazard, end-to-end approach to disaster management, focusing on the Caribbean and Africa.

Secure World Foundation and the GEO Secretariat are partnering this year to organize a workshop titled "Disaster Mitigation and Earth Observations: A GEOSS Perspective" as part of the GEO Ministerial week 12-17 January, 2014.

 The workshop will be held on January, 13th 2014, from 09:00 AM – 6:00 PM at the Centre International de Conferences (CICG) in Geneva, Room 15 (level -1).

 Objective of the Side Event

 The Side Event will bring together researchers and practitioners from universities, UN Agencies, industry and the private sector working in all aspects of the use of Earth observation for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM).  This event will be a venue for presenting recent advancements in the establishment of an operational GEOSS for the benefit of DRRM.

The main goal of this side event is to stimulate discussion between data/service providers and end-end users, figuring out feasible solutions and mechanisms to enable decision makers, urban and land planners and disasters managers to have access to actionable information and data useful to their daily work. A key point that would be addressed by the delegates is how to facilitate and implement full and open access to (big) data for local and national end users, and how to overcome the technological divide (this includes the digital and non-digital technologies) that exists between developed and developing nations.

  • To see the workshop agenda and the biographies of the experts speakers click here.
Please, find below the presentations from the event:

 For further information, please contact Victoria Samson.

Last updated on February 10, 2014