United Nations/India Workshop on the Use of Earth Observation Data in Disaster Management and Risk Reduction: Sharing the Asian Experience

Hyderabad, India, 8-11 March 2016

Organized by The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and the Indian Space Research Organisation, on behalf of the Government of India

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its Programme on Space Applications and the UN-SPIDER platform, and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), are jointly organising the workshop in order to share experience from Asia and other parts of the World in using Earth observation for disaster management.

  • Information Note
  • Applications closed (deadline of applications was 11 January 2016)


With endorsement of 187 States on "Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-2030", there is need to recognize the current challenges in the use of Earth observation technologies in disaster risk reduction. The UNOOSA co-organised a working session on "Earth observation and high technologies to reduce risks" at World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR) to promote the role of Earth observation for its inclusion in the "Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-2030". UN-SPIDER works at demonstrating how the use of Earth observation can strongly support the full cycle of disaster risk management and how it can provide means for users and providers to better communicate their needs and capabilities. With this aim, the workshop will demonstrate operational programmes and tools on use of Earth observation data to address disaster management cycle including understanding disaster risks, responding to emergencies, assessing damage and loss and providing inputs to mitigate disasters. The workshop will provide opportunities for enhanced collaboration among the Asian countries for effective utilization of earth observation in disaster management.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The United Nations/India Workshop on the Use of Earth Observation data in Disaster Management and Risk Reduction: Sharing the Asian Experience aims to:

  • Demonstrate operational programmes and tools that make use of Earth observation data to address the disaster management cycle, including understanding disaster risks, responding to emergencies, assessing damage and loss and providing inputs to mitigate disasters;
  • Synthesize experiences and lessons learnt by Asian countries, the most vulnerable region, and converge it to make effective use of Earth observation for disaster management;
  • Promote the use of Earth observation in disaster-prone areas in order to prepare, mitigate and respond to natural disasters, plan and build more resilient infrastructure and allow for a more sustained, inclusive and sustainable growth, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  • Discuss the way forward in international cooperation on space technologies and disaster management in preparation for UNISPACE+50.

The workshop should provide insight on technology, models, methods, tools and operational programmes utilizing Earth observation data in natural disasters management, especially covering important stages such as mitigation planning (hazard and risk assessment), early warning, emergency response, disaster recovery and damage assessment.

The expected outcomes include the following:

  • Exchange knowledge and lessons learned by experts and disaster managers
  • Understand technology trends including upcoming satellites and sensors
  • Discuss ways to access advanced Earth observation data
  • Provide a platform for the countries and intergovernmental organisations to develop bilateral and multilateral cooperation
  • Provide opportunities for enhanced collaboration among Asian countries for effective utilization of Earth observation in disaster management.

Workshop sessions

Invited talks

Plenary session 1: EO in Disaster Management - Challenges

  • Thomas, DMS, ISRO HQ, Bangalore, Disaster Management Support (DMS) Programme.
  • Hagen, Saint Xavier University, USA, Transforming Geospatial Data into Disaster Management Information: Challenges and Opportunities.
  • Wang, Disaster Risk Reduction Division, ESCAP, Thailand, ESCAP's regional cooperation programme on EO data applications for disaster risk reduction.

Technical Session: Challenges in Disaster Management-Field Experiences

  • Giriraj, International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Sri Lanka, Challenges in Disaster Management-Field Experiences.
  • Zou, National Satellite Ocean Application Service, China, Introduction of Operational Marine Environmental Disaster Monitoring using Remote Sensing Data.
  • Wu, MDA, Canada, InSAR Monitoring of Urban Infrastructure: Mitigating Land Deformation Risk

Parallel Session 1: Disaster Risk Assessment - Role of Space Technology

  • Maziva, INGC, Mozambique, Experience of Mozambique in Monitoring Weather Phenomena as Way to Reduce Natural Risk Disaster
  • Gad, NARSS, Egypt, Integrated Remote Sensing Multi Concept and GIS for Assessment of Sand Dune Distribution and Impacts on Sinai Resources
  • Gautam, GSI, India, Operationalising a National Programme of Landslide Susceptibility Mapping
  • Mishra, OSDMA, India, OSDMA Initiatives in Disaster Risk Reduction Using Earth Observation Data
  • Hassanzadeh, Kerman Disaster Management Centre, Iran, How Much Data is Needed to Make an Efficient Decision: Crowd Sourcing and Disaster Response
  • Mishra, IIST, India, Simulation of Water Inundation Using Virtual Reality Tools for Disaster Study: Opportunity and Challenges

Parallel Session 2: Space Technology in Disasters - Scenarios & Trends

  • Abdalla, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia, WebGIS Interoperability for Disaster Management
  • Bothale, NRSC, India, Bhuvan Disaster Risk Reduction, Damage Assessment and Response
  • Tang, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Science, Remote Sensing of Typhoons Impact and Disaster Management - A New Ecological Index for SST Cooling Response to Typhoon
  • Bhanumurthy, NRSC, India, National Database for Emergency Management (NDEM)
  • Bodnár Beihang University, China, Crowdsourced Damage Mapping for Disaster Emergency Response - The 2015 Nepal Earthquake Case Study
  • Baishya, Assam State Disaster Management Authority, India, Use of Earth Observation Data in Disaster Management - Assam Experience

Parallel Session 3: Early Warning System and Emergency Response

  • Barman, NESAC, India, GIS Based Hydro-Met Stream Flow Forecasting for Early Warning of Flood in Brahmaputra Valley
  • Ramesh, CWC, India, Flood Forecasting and Early Warning System in India
  • Tenzin, National Land Commission, Bhutan, Introduction and Application of Geospatial Correlative Integration
  • Hassan, Sudan Remote Sensing Authority, Integration of Remote Sensing and GIS for Flood Modeling
  • Sunanda M.V., INCOIS, India, Indian Tsunami Early Warning System
  • Wahap, ANGKASA, Malaysia, Utilizing Space Information to Support Disaster Management in Malaysia
  • Mohapatra, India Meteorological Department, Role of India Meteorological Department in Management of Meteorological Hazards in India
  • Gurung, ICIMOD, Nepal, Use of Earth Observation and Allied Tools - Operational Challenges, and Lesson Learned from 2015 Nepal Earthquake

Parallel Session 4: Challenges in Capacity Building - Disaster Management

  • Sinha, BSDMA, India, Bihar State Disaster Management Authority: Initiatives Towards DRR
  • Tan, RCSSTEAP, China, Capacity Building and Cooperation Plan in UN Regional Centre (RCSSTEAP) China
  • Singh, IIRS, India, Capacity Building in Disaster Risk Reduction Through Synergistic Approach
  • Kimani, National Space Secretariat, Kenya, Lessons Learnt From the UN-SPIDER Technical Advisory Mission (TAM) in Kenya
  • Durbha, CSRE, IIT Bombay, India, Transfer Learning Driven Rapid Change Detection for Disaster Management
  • Manavalan, C-DAC, India, DEM Based Flood Area Mapping Technique for Real Time Flood Early Warning Systems
  • Boupha, Ministry of Science and Technology, Lao PDR, International Cooperation in Laos Through Synergy in Space

Plenary Session 2: Foster international cooperation for promoting space technology

  • Tumonong, AHA Centre, ASEAN, Indonesia, Five years of AHA Centre: Experiences, Challenges and Future Outlook of Disaster Management in the ASEAN
  • Rao, International Charter, International Charter 'Space and Major Disasters' :Universal Access
  • International Charter, Charter Executive Secretariat, History, Operations, Access
  • Padmanabhan, UNDP, Data for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction: UNDP-India
  • Rawal, Sensors and Small Satellite Technologies for Disaster Management (SSTDM), Opportunities for Global and Indo-US Collaboration: Seeking Guidance

Special sessions and meetings and institutional visit

Special sessions and meetings and institutional visit may be planned to provide a platform for international cooperation.

Logistics and organization

Target audience for the workshop

Disaster managers, policy makers, providers of space technology solutions/tools/applications from governments, academia, research, NGO and corporate sector.

Financial support to selected participants

Taking into consideration the limited financial resources available for this conference, a number of qualified applicants from developing countries, who have expressed the need for financial support, will be offered financial support to attend the Workshop. This may include the provision of a round-trip air ticket between Hyderabad and the applicant's international airport of departure and/or daily subsistence allowances to cover board and lodging for the duration of the International conference. Any additional costs or changes made to the air tickets must be the responsibility of the participants.

Due to this limited availability of financial resources, applicants and their nominating organizations are strongly encouraged to find additional sources of sponsorship to allow them to attend the Workshop. Qualified participants whose nominating agency/organization agrees to fund round-trip travel and/or living expenses will be considered on a priority basis.

Language of the  workshop and presentations by participants

The working language of the workshop will be English.

Deadline for submission of applications

The detailed information for applications will be made available in a timely manner via the UNOOSA Website. Deadline for applications for those requesting financial assistance is 11 January 2016. Only complete applications, with all requested information and signatures, will be considered.

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