United Nations/United States of America Workshop on the Use of Global Navigation Satellite Systems

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 20 to 24 August 2001

Organized in cooperation with and hosted by the Government of Malaysia

1. Background

Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III) identified the need to determine precise locations on the ground for use with Earth observation images and ancillary information in geographical information systems. This location information is needed for a large number of remote sensing applications, some of which support such strategic areas for development as disaster management, monitoring and protecting the environment, management of natural resources and food production. With the availability of high-resolution images, some applications will require a location precision of the order of one meter. The Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), which include the Global Positioning System (GPS) of the United States of America, provide a signal that can serve this purpose and in addition could be used for a large range of other applications with economic benefits for the user.

This regional Workshop, which is the first in the series being co-sponsored by the United Nations Programme on Space Applications and the Government of the United States of America, is being organized in cooperation with the Government of Malaysia, for the benefit of the developing countries in the Asia Pacific region. The Workshop will be hosted by the Department of Survey and Mapping Malaysia, Ministry of Land and Cooperative Development.

The workshops will focus on specific applications of the use of existing and near-term GNSS and their augmentations to further global environment objectives, sustainable development programmes and deepen the understanding of these applications in developing countries. Such global systems include the Global Positioning System (GPS) of the United States of America, Glonass of the Russian Federation and Galileo of European Community countries. Applications will include monitoring of the environment, precision agriculture, surveying and mapping, resource conservation, and disaster management.

2. Dates of the Workshop

20-24 August 2001

3. Location

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

4. Objectives and Expected Results

The Workshop will review applications of the Global Navigation Satellite Systems with special emphasis on:

(i) current status and briefing on the modernization policy of GPS; current status and future developments of Glonass (Russian Federation) and developments in the European Galileo programme;

(ii) existing and future potential applications of these systems for sustainable development and protection of the environment of interest for countries in the Asia and the Pacific region;

(iii) promotion of regional and international cooperation.

The Workshop will aim at:

(i) bringing the benefits of the availability and use of GNSS signals to the awareness of decision-makers and technical personnel from potential user institutions as well as to service providers in the private sector, particularly in developing countries;

(ii) identifying actions that could be taken and partnerships to the established by potential users. The Workshop would increase the awareness of participants of the intrinsic value of the GNSS signals in a sustainable development context and motivate their imagination to make use of them in their own programmes and projects. A direct result would be an expanded user base, which is likely to include a network of experienced and beginner users from governmental and academic institutions as well as from the private sector.

5. Programme of the Workshop

The programme of the Workshop will include, but not be limited to, the following topics:

  • status and expected developments of GPS, Glonass, Galileo and other systems;
  • overview of the current and expected GPS applications market;
  • applications in disaster management;
  • applications in monitoring of the environment;
  • applications in precision agriculture;
  • applications in resource conservation;
  • applications in surveying and mapping;
  • environmental and safety issues related to air, land and maritime transportation;
  • use of GNSS in including data into GIS and other databases.

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

6. Qualifications for Participation

Participants should be in positions of managerial or decision making-responsibility at national institutions or private industry with programmes or activities in areas related to protection of the environment or sustainable development that could improve the performance of their programmes or activities through the use of satellite positioning technology.

7. Language of the Workshop

Applicants must have a good knowledge of ENGLISH, which will be the ONLY working language of the Workshop.

8. Selection of Participants

Participants will be selected jointly by the sponsors of the Workshop from nominations submitted by the governments/institutions or industries of developing countries to the United Nations. All applicants will be informed on the outcome of the selection process.

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 Kuala Lumpur. The co-sponsors will also defray the room and board expenses of these participants for the duration of the Workshop. Candidates from small companies (e.g. less than 20 employees) will be considered for financial support.

7. Deadline for Applications

Two copies of the completed Application Form, properly endorsed by the applicant's agency/organization, should be submitted through the Office of the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme in the applicant's country, to reach the:

United Nations Expert on Space Applications 
Office for Outer Space Affairs
Vienna International Centre 
P.O. BOX 500 
A - 1400 VIENNA 

Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5830 
E-mail:  oosa@oosa.org

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