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Romania Regional Workshop on the Use of Space Technology for Disaster Management for Europe 19-23 May 2003

on 26 May 2003

The final programme, presentations, and poster of the United Nations/Romania Regional Workshop on the Use of Space Technology for Disaster Management for Europe - Poiana Brasov 19-23 May 2003

This workshop is a joint initiative of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) and the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), on behalf of the Government of Romania, and co-sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), and the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). This event aims at bringing together practitioners, space agencies and those responsible for dealing with disaster management to present experiences and best practices on the space technology-based solutions to disaster management in Europe.

Earth observation satellites contribute to providing significant and unique solutions in all disaster management areas: disaster mitigation, disaster preparedness, disaster relief and also disaster rehabilitation. Such solutions are already an integral part of disaster management activities in many developed and even developing countries. Even though national capabilities in the use of space technologies in developing countries are increasing at a significant rate there is still a definite need to support in a more direct way the transfer of these available technologies, while at the same time proposing methodological approaches that are indeed customised and appropriate to the specific needs of the country. In the development of such methodologic al solutions other space-based technologies are considered and included such as global navigation satellite systems (GPS, GLONASS and in the future GALILEO) as well as communication and meteorological satellites, while the use of geographic information systems (GIS) provides a structure for integrating the information and contributing to improved planning and decisionmaking. The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, within the framework of its Programme on Space Applications, is holding a total of 5 Regional Workshops on the Use of Space Technology for Disaster Management, bringing together practitioners and space agencies that have already developed space technology-based solutions and those responsible for dealing with disaster management and also with space technology in developing countries.

The Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), as the national space programs leading institution and international representative of Romania in major space related organizations and agreements, is developing and planning applications of space technology to risk and disaster management with a view to the specific national and regional items. Projects and studies on specific natural disasters as flood, earthquakes and landslides, together with actions towards increasing security to environmental and human risk generating factors, are developed by ROSA centres and the affiliated institutes, universities and companies on a wide thematic and international basis.

The Regional Workshops are an element of capacity building modules whose final objective is to incorporate the use of space technologies in a sustainable manner into operational disaster management programmes around the world. In addition to the workshops, the modules being developed include a training component, within and beyond, pilot projects and a presentation of results to high-level disaster managers and decision-makers from national and international funding institutions. Furthermore, these workshops will increase the awareness of managers and decision-makers involved in disaster management of the potential benefits of using space-based technologies; will provide a forum in which needs which are specific to the region and institutional settings can be identified; will enable the consolidation of networking among national and regional agencies and the definition of possible partnerships; and most importantly will develop a regional plan-of-action that will lead to one or more pilot projects that incorporate and refines the use of space technologies for disaster management.

The first of the five workshops was held in La Serena, Chile in 2000 for the benefit of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean . The second Regional Workshop was held in Addis Ababa , from 1-5 July 2002 for the benefit of all African Countries. The third Regional Workshop was held in Bangkok from 11-15 November 2002 for the benefit of the Asia and Pacific region, more specifically all countries that are within ESCAP’s region.