United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

United Nations/South Africa/European Space Agency Workshop 

UN/South Africa/ESA Workshop on
"Space Technology Provides Solutions for Sustainable Development"

Stellenbosch, South Africa, 21-23 August 2002

organised in support of the

"World Summit on Sustainable Development"


Presentations made at the Workshop are now available online.


1. Background

One of the significant events of 2002 will be the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August - 4 September 2002. The World Summit will result in a high-level political Declaration which will, among other things, endorse a Plan of Action to address global and regional problems in priority development areas.

The goal of the Workshop would be to demonstrate to decision- and policy-makers that the use of space technology can provide solutions to global or regional problems. It will also show that a wide range of space applications support development objectives, in particular many of those that are to be addressed by Governments participating in the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

The topics of the Workshop would address issues from among the ten main themes of the World Summit where high impact applications of various space technologies have resulted in solutions to well-defined problems or promoted sustainable development in significant and quantifiable ways. The emphasis of the Workshop would be on problems or development issues of Africa.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, under the United Nations Programme on Space Applications and the European Space Agency (ESA) are organizing this Workshop in cooperation with the Government of South Africa. The Workshop is being hosted and co-sponsored by the University of Stellenbosch. Advancements in space science and technology have created many possibilities enhance human development and security.


2. Objectives and Expected Results

The Workshop will be held just prior to the World Summit on Sustainable Development for the benefit of high level policy- and decision-makers. The Workshop will aim at bringing or raising the awareness, particularly of those who will be delegates to WSSD, of the support that space science and technology can provide to enhance the decision-making and management processes needed for sustainable development. The Workshop programme has been designed keeping in mind that protecting the environment and reducing poverty will be in the minds of the high- and mid- level decision-makers as they prepare for the WSSD.

The short- to mid-term results of the Workshop would be the launch of pilot and demonstration projects by governments, research institutions, and the industry that would benefit from the introduction of space technology for sustainable development. The long-term result would be the expansion of the user base of space technologies.


3. Sponsorship of the Workshop

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, the Government of South Africa, and the European Space Agency will sponsor the Workshop. Astrium and the German Space Agency (DLR) will co-sponsor the Workshop. Co-sponsorship is still open to other interested entities.


4. Expected Participants

Approximately 50 decision-makers and technical personnel of government agencies, research institutes, and industries are expected to attend the Workshop.


5. Preliminary Programme of the Workshop

The Workshop programme includes case study presentations by the some of the world�s leading space agencies showing where space technology has been successful in, for instance, reducing infectious diseases, managing natural resources, protecting the environment, providing education and training in rural areas or reducing the impact of disasters. The topics of the Workshop would address issues from among the ten main themes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development:

   A. Making globalisation work for sustainable development

   B. Poverty eradication and sustainable livelihoods

   C. Changing unsustainable patterns of consumption and production

   D. Promoting health through sustainable development

   E. Access to energy and energy efficiency

   F. Sustainable management of ecosystems and biodiversity

   G. Managing the world's freshwater resources

   H. Finance and technology transfer

   I. Sustainable development initiatives for Africa

   J. Strengthening the system of international governance for sustainable development

The format of the programme calls for participants from developing countries, particularly from the African region, coming from potential user institutions to state the problems that are faced by those institutions. Those presentations will be followed by "space" presentations that will demonstrate how space technology has been used to solve the problems.

The Workshop programme consists of two days of "paired presentations" as indicated above, to be followed by a one day High-Level Segment. This segment will present highlights of the presentations of the two previous days and will include a discussion session. The programme will include discussion periods to identify possible inputs that could be made at the World Summit and to outline the path for the United Nations Programme on Space Applications to follow up on some of the actions that result from the World Summit.

A detailed draft Workshop programme will be made available on the Web site of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/SAP/act2002/wssd/).


6. Qualification for participation

Participants should be in positions of high managerial or decision-making-responsibility at governmental agencies, national institutions or private industry with programmes or activities relating to protection of the environment or the promotion of sustainable development. Applications from qualified female candidates are particularly encouraged.


7. Language of the Workshop

English will be the working language of the Workshop.


8. Selection of participants

articipants will be selected jointly by the sponsors of the Workshop from applications submitted to the United Nations by the governments/institutions or industries of developing countries. Applicants who will be part of their countries delegations to the World Summit and well qualified women will be selected on a priority basis.


9. Financial arrangements

Within the limited financial resources available to the co-sponsors, a number of selected participants from developing countries will be offered financial support to attend the Workshop. Funded participants will be provided with a round trip air ticket (most economic fare) between the airport of international departure in their home country and Stellenbosch, South Africa. The co-sponsors will also defray the room and board expenses of these participants for the duration of the Workshop.


10. Deadline for submission of applications

The completed Application Form properly endorsed by the applicant's agency/organization, should be submitted, no later than 08 July 2002 to:

United Nations Expert on Space Applications,
Room E 0966,
United Nations Office at Vienna,
Vienna International Centre,
P.O. Box 500,
A-1400, Vienna,
Fax: 1-26060-5830

11. Points of Contact

For information regarding the submission of nominations for attendance and funding, please contact Ms. Ayoni Oyeneyin, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, at the above address and fax number, or at the following e-mail address: Ayoni.Oyeneyin@unvienna.org

The focal point in South Africa at the University of Stellenbosch will be Mr. Ron Olivier. Mr. Ron Olivier can be contacted (rolivier@sun.ac.za) regarding local arrangements including venue of the Workshop, coordination with the University of Stellenbosch, arrival to Stellenbosch, hotel accommodation, transportation to and from the hotels and other logistics.








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