United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs


United Nations/European Space Agency Workshop on Remote Sensing Applications and Education
Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic, 23-27 March 2003 (postponed)

Hosted by General Organisation of Remote Sensing (GORS) on behalf of the Government of Syria


Available online resources:


1. Background

Remotely sensed data provide a view of the Earth for many studies that require synoptic or periodic observations such as inventory, surveying, and monitoring in agriculture, hydrology, geology, mineralogy, and environment. Remote sensing is a rapidly growing technology and is one of the important spin-offs of space applications and space science. Remote sensing is viewed as a discipline that is integrated with other disciplines such as photogrammetry, cartography, geodetic reference systems, global positioning systems, and geographic information systems. In the application of remote sensing, education plays a pivotal role in its widespread adoption.

A fundamental requirement of UNISPACE III is to support sustainable development while safeguarding the Earth�s environment. This requires optimal management of natural resources and it depends upon the availability of reliable and up-to-date information at national, regional, and international levels. Remotely sensed data play an increasingly important role as a source of reliable and timely information needed for sustainable management of natural resources and for environmental protection.

The UN/ESA Workshop has been endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly as part of the 2003 activities of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications. The Workshop is being organised in co-operation with the Government of Syria through the General Organisation of Remote Sensing (GORS) and the European Space Agency (ESA).


&2. Objectives

The Workshop programme will cover case studies in the application of remote sensing as listed below under section 5. of this information sheet. And will highlight the place of such applications in university education curricula on remote sensing, particularly in the education curriculum on remote sensing and geographic information system as developed for the regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education (affiliated to the United Nations).

Participants at the Workshop are encouraged to make presentations on the topics suggested in section 5. of this information sheet, as well as to offer problems from their own activities for discussion and solution by the Workshop.


3. Recommended Reading

Report of the United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (1999, UNISPACE III), available at:

Education Curriculum on Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (2001), available at

Proceedings of the ISPRS Commission VI Mid Term Symposium on New Approaches for Education and Communication (2002), available at

The above three documents are also available on request from the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (Email: Virginia.Ofoedu@unvienna.org).


4. Location and Date of the Workshop

The Workshop will be held from 23 to 27 March 2003 at the facilities of the General Organisation of Remote Sensing (GORS) in Damascus, Syria.


5. Organization of the Workshop

The programme of this five-day Workshop will include presentations and discussions on the following topics:

  •  Remote sensing applications related to:
    • Topographic and thematic mapping
    • Agriculture
    • Hydrology
    • Geology
    • Mineralogy
    • Environment
    • Disaster management
  •  Remote sensing applications in:
    • University level teaching
    • Education curricula
    • Data analysis and image processing
    • Computer assisted teaching
    • Internet resources and distance learning
    • International co-operation

The programme will also include hands-on training in using PC-based data and image processing systems.


6. Language of the Workshop

English and Arabic will be the working languages for the Workshop.


7. Participation

Workshop participants shall be active educators, engineers, and scientists with in-depth knowledge and experience in the programme topics of the Workshop as described above.

International participants will be selected jointly by the sponsors from among candidates nominated by their Governments/institutions. A careful selection of participants will be made on the basis of (i) educational background; (ii) experience relevant to the Workshop objectives and programme; and (iii) compliance with the instructions issued in the application form. All selected participants will be informed of their selection by 01 March 2003.


8. Financial Arrangements

Within the limited funds available for this Workshop, the organizers will offer (a) round trip air travel to a maximum number of 25 participants from developing nations between the airport of international departure in the participant's country and international airport in Syria, and (b) per diem for these same participants for the duration of the Workshop.

The Government of Syria will provide meeting facilities and local transportation for all participants, as well as room and board for up to 25 participants from developing nations.

Selected applicants will receive detailed information upon notification of their selection.


9. Deadline for Submission of Applications

A copy of the completed application form, properly endorsed by applicant's government/ institution, should be directly submitted to the

Office for Outer Space Affairs
United Nations Office at Vienna
Vienna International Centre
P.O. BOX 500
A-1400 Vienna, AUSTRIA
Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5830
Phone: (+43-1) 26060- 4911
E-mail: Virginia.Ofoedu@unvienna.org

to reach the Office no later than 15 February 2003. The original of the completed application form should be submitted through the Office of the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in the applicant's country.


10. Life and Health Insurance

Life/major health insurance for each of the selected participants is necessary and is the responsibility of the candidate or his/her institution or government.




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