UN/AUSTRIA SYMPOSIUM 2022
Space for climate action: experiences and best practices in
mitigating and adapting to climate change and supporting sustainability on Earth

13-15 September 2022
Online

Registration has closed.

Theme

The 2022 UN/Austria Symposium "Space for climate action: experiences and best practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change and supporting sustainability on Earth" will take place from 13 to 15 September online. The focus of the symposium is to showcase the most recent initiatives, experiences and best practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change and supporting sustainability on Earth. Further to creating awareness of how Member States use space technologies, the symposium will highlight how the space sector is being adapted to reduce its own impact on the climate crisis. The symposium would collect ideas and contributions to define future activities.

To raise awareness of relevant space-related activities, services and cooperation programmes among different user groups, the symposium will gather government officials, the diplomatic community, UN and international agencies as well as NGOs.

Background

The UN/Austria Symposium has taken place in Graz, Austria, since 1994. It is an activity of the Programme of Space Applications of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. Since the first symposium entitled "Enhancing Social, Economic and Environmental Security through Space Technology", more than 3,100 participants have attended the events. They addressed a variety of themes, ranging from security to youth, as well as the use of space for sustainable development, space accessibility, and international cooperation. The last edition focused on space applications for food systems in conjunction with the UN Food Systems Summit.

The symposia series has provided a forum for discussion between the different stakeholder groups of the wider space community, including the diplomatic community, the private sector and academia, as well as UN entities. The main purpose of the symposia remains to enable discussions on the use of space tools and applications, with an interdisciplinary viewpoint, addressing technology development and policymaking.

Objectives

The purpose of the symposium is to showcase the most recent initiatives where space technologies and space applications are actively contributing to mitigation and adaptation to climate change and to demonstrate how the space sector is being adapted to reduce its own impact on the climate crisis.

The symposium has the following objectives:

  • To promote the exchange of best practices and solutions to meet the demand and needs of developing countries in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
  • To demonstrate how initiatives based on space applications have been successfully developed and implemented in different countries.
  • To share experiences and explore how space-based services can be used to comply with or support policies about climate action according to national priorities, and how sustainability policies are being applied in the space sector.
  • To present available toolboxes that have already been implemented through case studies or pilot projects at a country level to comply with regulations related to climate action, with the aim of encouraging the adoption of tested tools and approaches.
  • To raise awareness of relevant space-related activities, services and cooperation programmes among different user groups, in particular government officials, the diplomatic community, UN and international agencies as well as NGOs.
  • To report to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space through the Scientific and Technical Sub-committee.

Programme

Day 1 - Tuesday, 13 September 2022
Morning session
Central European Summer Time (CEST)
  9:50  Webex connection opens  
 10:00  Introduction  
 10:05  Welcome ceremony   
         Moderator Otto Koudelka Graz University of Technology
  Heinz Mayer Joanneum Research
Hans-Martin Steiner Austrospace
Henriette Spyra Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology
Peter Piffl-Percevic City of Graz
Gabriela Sellner Permanent Representative of the Republic of Austria to the United Nations in Vienna
 10:40  Keynote presentation  
  Current and planned activities in using space for climate action Niklas Hedman UNOOSA
10:55  Break (15 minutes)
  11:10  Session 1: Space application for climate action: current status
This session provides an overview of legal and policy initiatives using satellite applications and presents activities relying on satellite data.
       Chair Xing Yi Ang UNOOSA
The right to a healthy environment: ideas on a human rights based approach to combat climate change Irmgard Marboe University of Vienna, Austria
The use of space in European climate policies Clémence Poirier Centre national d'études spatiales, European Space Policy Institute
Updates on Earth Observation applications in key sectors Sara Venturini GEO Secretariat
The case of the Philippines: using space technology in response to the changing climate James Refran Philppine Space Agency
National catastrophe modelling of Pakistan   Muhammad Farooq Space Application Centre for Response in Emergency and Disasters, Pakistan
From satellite data to intelligence action Alexandre Caldas United Nations Environment Programme, Science Division
 12:40  Break (80 minutes)  
Afternoon session
 14:00  Keynote presentation
  ESA EO data & international cooperation in support of worldwide climate challenges Simonetta Cheli European Space Agency (ESA)
 14:20   Session 2: Monitoring Earth from space to address climate change   
This technical session presents a range of initiatives where Earth Observation satellites are used to monitor natural or human-made phenomena that contribute to climate change.
     Chair
Luc St-Pierre UNOOSA
Monitoring of geological carbon sequestration Hui Yang China University of Mining and Technology
Monitoring and estimation of gas flaring: case of Algeria Farah Benharrats Centre des techniques spatiales, Algeria
ClimCam mission for monitoring and studying the effect of climate change Ayman Ahmed Egyptian Space Agency
Boosting climate monitoring applications: the Space for Climate Observatory Frédéric Bretar  Centre national d'études spatiales, France
Real-time monitoring of tropical deforestation Stéphane Mermoz GlobEO
 15:50  Project pitch  
    Carbon dioxide and methane concentrations in permafrost regions, Mongolia Saruulzaya Adiya Institute of Geography and Geoecology, Mongolian Academy of Sciences
Wildfire detection and monitoring from space Martin Langer OroraTech
Pioneering methane mitigation from space Timothy Bryn Orth-Lashley GHGSat
16:05  Overview of post-symposium online training   
      Lifecycle assessment and eco-design for space Enrico Tormena ESA Clean Space
Space-based data for climate monitoring and climate change impact Arijit Roy  Center for Space Science and Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
Copernicus climate change and atmosphere monitoring services Chris Stewart European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF)
Introduction to Earth Observation data analysis using openEO platform Benjamin Schumacher Earth Observation Data Centre (EODC) 
Atmospheric CO2 and CH4 budgets to support the global stocktake Melanie Cook NASA  Applied Remote Sensing Training Programme (ARSET) 
 16:40  Adjourn

 

Day 2 - Wednesday, 14 September 2022
Morning session
 9:50  Webex connection opens  
 10:00  Welcome
 10:05   Project pitch
  Green applications of space-borne sensing: insights from using patent filing statistics Tomas Hrozensky European Space Policy Institute
gEOthermal Kenya: sustainable EO solutions Celia Davies Omanos Analytics
  10:15      Session 3: Nigeria country case
This session presents how Nigeria is using space applications to support its policy development against climate change and the concrete implementation of innovative projects using space applications.
        Co-chairs Francis Chizea; Marcelo Ribeiro Nigeria National Space Research and Development Agency; UNOOSA
An overview of climate change initiatives in Nigeria Francis Chizea Nigeria National Space Research and Development Agency
Ocean warming and sea level rise impact on the coastland of southwest Nigeria Samuel Ojih National Centre for Remote Sensing, Nigeria
Impact of Sahelian dust on Nigeria's environment and biomass Taiwo Qudus National Centre for Remote Sensing, Nigeria
 Break (10 minutes)
Desert encroachment monitoring in north-eastern Nigeria Mahmoud Ibrahim Mahmoud National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, Nigeria
Environmental sensitivity to desertification in Katsina State Mahmood Musa Mahmood  National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigeria
Perspective on including space tools in policy development Sani Suleiman National Space Research and Development Agency, Nigeria
 12:00   Project pitch  
    Space Generation Advisory Council activities about climate action Sahba El-Shawa Jordan Space Research Initiative, Space Generation Advisory Council
Building sustainability value in space for climate mitigation in the Earth system Elena Cirkovic Max Planck Institute, Luxemburg and University of Helsinki, Finland 
Space technology for glacier monitoring   Ailin Sol Ortone Lois Fuerza Aérea Argentina
 12:15   Break (45 minutes)  
Afternoon session
    13:00  Session 4: India country case
This session presents how India is using space applications to support its policy development against climate change and the concrete implementation of innovative projects using space applications.
       Co-Chairs Rajashree Bothale; Nina Kickinger ISRO; UNOOSA
Space applications for climate studies in India Rajashree Bothale National Remote Sensing Centre, ISRO
Climate change and adaptation: sustainable water management Subimal Ghosh  Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India
Ocean weather to climate services - the space contribution  Balakrishnan Nair  Indian National Center for Ocean Information Services, Ministry of Earth and Sciences
Space data applications for quick response during recent hydro meteorological disasters Pattukandan Ganapathy  Vellore Institute of Technology, India  
Satellite data to determine hyper-local risks of coastal erosion and flooding Pranav Kishore Pasari  Satsense Solutions Limited 
Missions under National Action Plan on Climate Change - Indian perspective Nisha Mendiratta  Department of Science & Technology, Government of India 
 14:35  Break (15 minutes)
 14:50   Panel 1: Greening space systems engineering
This panel will showcase what is being done to modify space engineering practices, with innovation such as lifecycle assessment, design for demise, or greener technologies in space engineering, as well as incentives for their adoption.
      Chair Nathalie Ricard UNOOSA
Panelists     Martin Ross The Aerospace Corporation
Sara Morales ESA Clean Space
Danielle Wood Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Enabled, USA
Kenji Miki and Motoki Sotsuka University of Kyoto, Japan
Stephen Plant and Joanne Wheeler UK Space Agency
 16:15  Adjourn
 17:30  Live virtual tour of the city of Graz (approximately 90 minutes)

 

Day 3 - Thursday, 15 September 2022
Morning session
  9:50  Webex connection opens  
  10:00       Session 5: Austria country case
This session presents how Austria is using space applications to support its policy development against climate change and the concrete implementation of innovative projects using space applications.
        Chair Andrea Kleinasser Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology
Space for energy, mobility and climate neutral cities Sophie Hoffmann Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology
Satellite soil moisture data for assessing climatic extremes Wolfgang Wagner  Technical University of Vienna
Satellite-based CO 2 monitoring Gebhard Banko and Christina Hirzinger Environment Agency Austria and Geoville, Austria
Enhancing urban models through Earth Observation Klaus Steinnocher Austrian Institute of Technology 
Climate monitoring - Austria's next SmallSat PRETTY (Passive Reflectometry and Dosimetry)  Heinrich Fragner Beyond Gravity
11:30  Break (10 minutes)
11:40  Panel 2: Recommendations for future activities
       Co-Chairs Andrea Kleinasser; Markus Woltran Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology; UNOOSA
Panelists     Francis Chizea  Nigeria National Space Research and Development Agency
Rajashree Bothale Indian Space Research Organisation 
Laurence Monnoyer-Smith CNES, Space Climate Observatory
Christoph Aubrecht European Space Agency
 12:20  Conclusion of the Symposium
 12:30  Close

   

Dates and Venue

The symposium will be held from 13 to 15 September 2022. The symposium will be held online via Webex.

Working Methods

Speakers at the symposium are requested to deliver an oral presentation or a demonstration of a tool via the web-based communication platform. On Monday, 12 September 2022, presenters will have the opportunity to do a test run of their presentations online. Presentations made at the symposium will be published on the website of the Office for Outer Space Affairs (www.unoosa.org) prior to the symposium to facilitate the engagement of participants. 

Expected Participants

The symposium is aimed at members of the diplomatic community, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, research and development institutions, policy and decision-makers, senior experts, scientists, engineers and university educators, especially from developing countries.

Representatives from the various permanent missions of United Nations Member States in Vienna will be invited to the symposium, along with representatives from various United Nations agencies and other international organisations, with the aim of promoting dialogue not only between policy-makers but also with the private sector and end-users. Representatives from the space applications industry are also welcome to attend and present their solutions.

The Office for Outer Space Affairs is committed to supporting gender mainstreaming in its programmes and advocates for balanced representation from different perspectives.

Sponsorship

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and Austria are responsible for organising the Symposium. It is supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, the European Space Agency, AUSTROSPACE, the City of Graz, the Province of Styria, Joanneum Research and the Graz University of Technology.

Language

The working language of the symposium is English.

Registration

Registration closed on 7 September 2022. 

Post-Symposium training courses

Following the Symposium, UNOOSA is partnering with the European Space Agency (ESA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Applied Remote Sensing Training Programme (ARSET), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and Earth Observation Data Centre (EODC) to provide a variety of training courses under two broad themes, (1) sustainable space engineering practices, and (2) Earth Observation data for climate action. These online courses aim to raise awareness of the use of space applications and methodologies for climate action and enhance participants' capabilities to use them.

The trainings are delivered by subject matter experts and are conducted exclusively online. Some trainings include demonstrations using open-source data and software. The trainings consist of both theory and practical applications to consolidate the concepts learnt. By providing collaborative and interactive learning platforms, the trainings aim to connect participants from across the globe with experts and encourage exchange and flow of knowledge and ideas.

To learn more about the trainings, please click here.

Contact

For additional information, please contact  unoosa-events@un.org .

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