Initiated in 1990, the United Nations Basic Space Science Initiative (UNBSSI) has contributed to the international and regional development of astronomy and space science through annual workshops organized under the umbrella of the United Nations, focusing specifically on the International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY, 2005-2009) and the International Space Weather Initiative (ISWI, 2010-2012). UNBSSI has led to the establishment of planetariums, astronomical telescope facilities, and IHY/ISWI instrument arrays worldwide, particularly in developing countries..
ISWI is envisioned to continue the tradition of IHY in the worldwide deployment of space weather monitoring instrument arrays. To date, ISWI contributes to the observation of space weather through 14 instrument arrays with close to 1000 operating instruments in 97 countries supported by designated national ISWI coordinators in 82 countries. The first workshop on ISWI was held in Helwan, Egypt and hosted by the Helwan University, Egypt, in 2010. The UN/Nigeria Workshop on ISWI has been endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly as part of the 2011 activities of the Programme on Space Applications of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. The third ISWI workshop will be hosted by Ecuador in 2012.
The purpose of the UN/Nigeria Workshop on ISWI is to continue the scientific study of universal processes in the solar system that affect space weather and the terrestrial environment, and to continue to coordinate the deployment and operation of new and existing instrument arrays aimed at understanding the impacts of space weather on Earth and the near-Earth environment. The workshop will provide a unique opportunity for potential instrument providers and operators to engage collaborators from specific geographical locations, to broaden the coverage of existing instrument arrays, and to provide scientific background needed for analyzing the data and modeling the physical processes.