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United Nations/Kenya Conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity


27-30 June 2016, United Nations Office at Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

Organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

and the Government of the Republic of Kenya

supported by the European Space Agency

and hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)


Information Note

1. Introduction

The United Nations Programme on Space Applications, implemented by the Office for Outer Space Affairs, was established in 1971 to assist Member States with building capacity in using space science, technology and their applications in support of sustainable economic, social and environmental development. Under the new thematic priority "monitoring and protecting biodiversity and ecosystems" of the Programme as endorsed by the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and the General Assembly ( A/70/20, paragraph 71 and A/RES/70/82 paragraph 16 respectively), the Office for Outer Space Affairs is organizing the present Conference to address the use of space based solutions for wildlife management and protecting biodiversity. The Conference is co-organized by the Office for Outer Space Affairs and by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources on behalf of the Government of Kenya and is supported by the European Space Agency and the United Nations Environment Programme, which will host the Conference at its Headquarters in Nairobi.

The protection and conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems, cornerstones of sustainable environmental development, are addressed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under Sustainable Development Goal 15 "Life on Land - to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss" (see also Biodiversity and Ecosystems). The focus of the present Conference is to review existing and planned space based technologies and applications for wildlife management and protecting biodiversity in support of meeting the relevant targets set out for Sustainable Development Goal 15.

Pressures resulting from climate change, ecosystems loss and wildlife crime are threatening biodiversity and wildlife around the Globe. In response to this a wide range of applications, initiatives and projects have been developed that are using space-based technologies, such as Earth Observation satellites and their geospatial data, satellite-communications and global navigation satellite systems, to monitor, assess and manage biodiversity and ecosystems in support of sustainable environmental development.

The present Conference aims to bring together stakeholders involved in biodiversity and wildlife management, including representatives of space industry, governmental and non-governmental organizations and expert communities, as well as the relevant space applications and geo-spatial experts and the users of such applications, including park rangers and wildlife managers, to share their user requirements and experience and present existing and planned space technologies and applications.

2. Conference Objectives

The objectives of the Conference will be to:

  1. Present experiences with existing and planned state-of-the-art space technologies and applications that provide solutions for wildlife management (flora and fauna) and for protecting biodiversity, including for biodiversity assessments, ecosystem and wildlife habitat management, wildlife monitoring and tracking, as well as for addressing wildlife crime, by documenting and preventing poaching;
  2. Bring together and connect the stakeholders involved in relevant initiatives, including those with mandates responsibilities;
  3. Present capacity building opportunities to implement space-based solutions;
  4. Discuss opportunities for cooperation;
  5. Consider relevant legal and regulatory aspects;
  6. Develop observations and recommendations for the best way forward in using space based solutions for wildlife management and protecting biodiversity.

The discussions will be linked to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to the relevant targets set out for Sustainable Development Goal 15, as well as other relevant SDGs. The observations and recommendations of the Conference will be published as a United Nations General Assembly document in all official languages of the United Nations and will be brought to the attention of relevant policy- and decision making bodies.


The discussions at the Conference will also inform the preparations towards UNISPACE+50, which will be held in 2018 and marks also the fiftieth anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space held in 1968 (see the information button).

3. Conference Programme and Planned Sessions

The Conference programme will be structured around a series of topical sessions. Presentations will be solicited through a Call for Papers. In addition, renowned experts in the field will be invited to deliver targeted keynote presentations. Appropriate time will be set aside for discussions and for short presentations by the participants on their own relevant activities.

Topics will be considered in dedicated sessions. Based on applications and paper submissions received, these sessions will be further shaped and refined by the organizers.
The following sessions are initially envisaged for the Conference:

  • Opening Ceremony with high-level participation and keynote presentation(s)
  • Technical sessions:
    1. Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity: Issues and Space Technology Solutions
    2. Biodiversity Assessment
    3. Ecosystem and Wildlife Habitat Management
    4. The benefits of Space solutions for national reports to international and regional legal agreements
    5. Wildlife Monitoring and Tracking tools, including through collaborative platforms and social networks
    6. Addressing Wildlife Crime
    7. Legal and Regulatory Aspects
    8. Governance and Policy challenges facing spatial and non-spatial information sharing on Wildlife crime in Africa
    9. Capacity Building
    10. The benefits of Space solutions for awareness raising and outreach
    11. International Experiences and Cooperation Opportunities
    12. Observations and Recommendations and the Way Forward
  • Closing Plenary

Panel discussions will be organized to share experiences and lessons learned through capacity-building activities in relevant space technology and application activities as well as to deliberate opportunities for international and regional collaborations among the participants.

The sessions may be supplemented by a poster session, technical and practical hands-on training exercises. The co-sponsors also aim to organize an attractive programme of side-events for all conference participants.

4. Participants

The Conference participants shall be experts or decision-makers directly involved in the planning or implementation of projects related to wildlife management and biodiversity protection, including wildlife managers and park rangers, or in relevant space technology and application development activities in international or national space agencies, governmental or non-governmental organizations, research institutions, industry, universities or other academic institutions.

Participants are expected to have obtained university degrees in relevant fields of study, should be enrolled in relevant studies or should have professional working experience in one of the fields related to the theme of the Conference. Due consideration will be given to geographic balance. Applications from interested and qualified female experts are particularly encouraged. Experts who have been identified to present and/or attend the Conference will receive a formal invitation letter with further information, including information on logistical and local arrangements.

5. Support to Qualified Applicants

Within the limited financial resources available to the co-sponsors, a number of qualified applicants from developing countries , who have express ed the need for financial support will be selected on a competitive basis based on their qualifications, experience and expected contributions to the Conference and offered financial support to attend the Conference. This may include the provision of a round-trip economy class air ticket between Nairobi and the applicant's international airport of departure and/or room and board for the duration of the Conference. En-route and other expenses or any changes made to the air ticket provided by the co-sponsors must be the responsibility of the participants. Selected applicants will be notified in May 2016.

Due to the limited availability of financial resources, it is usually not possible to provide assistance to all qualified applicants who express the need for financial support. Applicants and their nominating organizations are therefore strongly encouraged to identify sources of sponsorship to allow them to attend the Conference.

6. Dates and Location

The Conference will be held from 27 to 30 June 2016 at the United Nations Offices at Nairobi, Kenya. Kindly note that the National Organizing Committee is planning a one-day excursion to the Nairobi National Park on 1 July 2016 and you may wish to arrange for your departure date accordingly.

7. Language of the Conference

Applicants must have a good working knowledge of English, which will be the official working language of the Conference.

8. Life and Health Insurance

Life and major health insurance is the responsibility of each selected participant or his/her nominating institution or government. The co-sponsors will not assume any responsibility for life and major health insurance, nor for any expenses related to medical treatment or accidents.

9. Deadline for Submission of Applications

Complete applications and abstracts shall be submitted to the Office for Outer Space Affairs through this online registration page.

Applications for participation must be received by the Office for Outer Space Affairs no later than 8 May 2016 from applicants seeking funding support and no later than 31 May 2016 from self-funded applicants. Only complete applications received by these deadlines will be considered.

10. Further Information and Contact Details

For questions related to the Conference programme and participation opportunities, please contact:
Mr. Lorant Czaran and Mr. Werner Balogh
Office for Outer Space Affairs
E-mail: lorant.czaran [at] unoosa.org, werner.balogh [at] unoosa.org
Tel: +43 1 26060 4158, Tel: +43 1 26060 4952

For questions related to local arrangements of the Conference, the point of contact for Kenya is:
Mr. Gideon Gathaara
Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of Kenya
E-mail: spacetechsecretariat [at] environment.go.ke
Tel: +254 7 206 55733

Conference Programme

Logistics Information

For logistical information (visa arrangements, health, security, hotels, transportation) please consult the:

Airport Transfers

United Nations Security Management is making the following recommendations:
Patronise only licensed taxis (telephone numbers listed below). Always confirm the fare in advance if there is no meter. Never take an unmarked taxi vehicle. 

  • Pewin Cabs, Tel: 0727-776 761
  • Jatco Taxis, Tel: 0725-280 000
  • Jim Cab Services, Tel: 0735-555 559
  • Apollo Tours Ltd, Tel: 0723-794 249
  • Amicabre Travels Ltd, Tel: 0710-760 055

For airport transfers to/from your chosen hotel you may also wish to consider using your hotel's recommended taxi transfer options.

For the Tribe Hotel ( www.tribe-hotel.com):

Airport Transfers (USD) ONE WAY RATES

1-2 pax

3 pax


6 pax

Mercedes Benz S- Class (max 3 pax)




Alphard (max 7 pax)




Contracted Taxi (max 3 pax)




JKIA - Meet, Greet, Escort through customs control for both passport and luggage ( Per Person)











If you would like to use this service, please make arrangements s directly with the hotel (e-mail address reservations@tribehotel-kenya.com, contact person Ms. Joyce Kariuki, Tel: +254-729146356).

In addition, the Local Organizing Committee adices that taxi charges from the airport to the Hotels near the UNEP headquarters are approximately 40 U.S Dollars. The recommended taxi company is Kenatco although there are more companies at the Airport.

Security Advice

Please consult travel advice and security information in the Logistics Note.


All participants are responsible for making their own hotel booking arrangements. A wide range of accommodation options in Nairobi can be found in the above Logistics Note.

We recommend participants to stay at http://www.tribe-hotel.com which is located close to the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON), where the Conference will be held. From here you can walk to the United Nations premises. The hotel will also offer a free shuttle between the hotel and UNON. A special room rate of USD 190/night (inclusive of tax) has been offered for those making their bookings directly with the hotel (e-mail address reservations@tribehotel-kenya.com, contact person Ms. Joyce Kariuki, Tel: +254-729146356); please mention the Conference title when making your reservation.

An economic recommended accommodation option that offers a special UN rate of around USD 80/night is the Comfort Gardens, http://www.comfortgardens.com, at No. 34 UN Crescent - Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya. Tel: +254 20 14014 or +254 722 873 741, e-mail info@comfortgardens.com. This hotel is also within walking distance to UNON.

Lunches, Coffee/tea Breaks

Kindly note that lunches will be provided to all Conference participants from 27 to 30 June.

Field Visit

For your information, the host Government is planning to organize a field visit on Friday, 1 July for the Conference participants, with further details to be provided. For participants receiving their air-ticket through the UN, please indicate in your confirmation e-mail to us that you wish to have your flight departing Nairobi booked no earlier than 1 July evening, if you wish to participate in the field visit. However, please note that the UN will not be able to provide funding support for the additional night and for all other expenses related to the participation in the field visit.

Please check back here, as we will provide updated logistics information as soon as it becomes available.

Media Advisory

Selected Press Articles

Follow-Up Activities

Useful Documents and Links

Conference Committees

Honorary Committee (in alphabetical order):

  • Simonetta Di Pippo - Director, Office for Outer Space Affairs, United Nations
  • Erik Solheim - Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme
  • Judi Wakhungu - Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya
  • Johann-Dietrich Woerner - Director General, European Space Agency

International Programme Committee (in alphabetical order):

  • Werner Balogh - Office for Outer Space Affairs, United Nations
  • Jean-Charles Bigot - European Space Agency
  • Julian Blanc - The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
  • Remi Chandran - National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan
  • Lorant Czaran - Office for Outer Space Affairs, United Nations
  • Bonaventure Ebayi - Lusaka Agreement Task Force 
  • Faith Karanja - University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • Maxwell Gomera - United Nations Environment Programme 
  • Margaret Maimba - National Commission for Science, Technology & Innovation, Kenya
  • Javier Montano - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Kenya Office

Local Organizing Committee (in alphabetical order):

  • Godfrey Bihembo - Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources 
  • David Chege - Kenya Forest Service
  • Lauren Friedman - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Kenya Office
  • Gideon Gathaara - Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources 
  • Ignatius Gitonga - Kenya Meteorological Department
  • Paul Jinaro - Kenya Wildlife Service 
  • Faith Karanja - University of Nairobi
  • Stephen Kiama - Kenya Forestry Research Institute
  • Margaret Maimba - National Commission for Science, Technology & Innovation
  • Boniface N. Maingi - National Police Service
  • Stephen Manegene - Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources 
  • Allan Meso - United Nations Environment Programme
  • Javier Montano - United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Kenya Office
  • Solomon B. Mpapale - Office of the President
  • Winnie Musila - System for Land-based Emissions Estimation in Kenya (SLEEK)-MENR 
  • Wycliffe Mutero - Kenya Wildlife Service
  • Faith Mutwiri - Kenya Forest Service
  • Esther Mwaura - Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government
  • Jamleck K. Ndambiri - Kenya Forest Service
  • Lucy Nganga - Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, State Department of Agriculture
  • Shadrack Ngene - Kenya Wildlife Service
  • Andrew Nyawade - Ministry of Defence 
  • Michael Ololtuaa - Government Reception 
  • Gordon Ojwang - Department of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing
  • Eric Rotich - Directorate of Immigration and Registration of Persons
  • John Ringera - Lusaka Agreement Task Force
  • Tom Tiriongo - Lusaka Agreement Task Force
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