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Advancing the Use of Space-based Technologies for Disaster Management


October 9, 2014


The 4th Annual UN International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Management was held on September 15-17, in Beijing, China. 

Despite advances in hazard monitoring and early warning and systems, disasters still cause significant disruptions to social, economic, and environmental systems, and recovery can take many years. The 2014 United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Management provided an opportunity for stakeholders to learn more about using space-based information to identify, assess, monitor, and respond to hazard risks in ways that could potentially lessen their impacts and shorten recovery periods.

Conference participants also explored using multi-hazard disaster risk assessment to better understand risks, mitigate impacts, and prepare for hazards by effectively integrating space-based technology into long-term disaster management and planning processes. As a valued partner of the UN system, Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) was invited to chair a plenary session focusing on space-based information resources for hazard identification and risk assessment. PDC Deputy Executive Director Chris Chiesa provided participants with a presentation featuring PDC’s DisasterAWARE platform, which was identified by the Head of the UN-SPIDER Beijing Office Shirish Ravan as one of the “Best Practices” for disaster risk monitoring and assessment. Chiesa also shared experiences and insights from deploying the platform in the Asia-Pacific region.


Conference participants shared knowledge, exchange ideas, develop networks, and plan UN-SPIDER activities, including Technical Advisory Missions, capacity building programs, and outreach events.

This was the fourth annual conference, co-organized by the UN-Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) under the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), and the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. The event was held September 15-17 in Beijing, China and brought together over 110 participants from 36 countries representing 56 organizations.

For more information on this event:
• Visit the event's conference page and view presentations,
• Take a look at the conference booklet,
• View an event summary by UN-SPIDER, and

• Read an article by the China's Ministry of Environmental Protection.

More from Pacific Disaster Center

To keep yourself up-to-the-minute about hazards and disasters:

For the latest Weather and Disaster News, use the PDC Weather Wall.

While you are thinking of hazards, think of preparedness. PDC provides disaster preparedness information, including printable instructions for assembling a Disaster Supply Kit and rehearsing a Family Disaster Plan.

For more information on DisasterAWARE products:

  • For details, see the Training Guide for Web-accessible Disaster Alert,
  • Read and understand more about custom versions, such as DMRS and VinAWARE,
  • Watch the ASEAN DMRS video on YouTube.

About PDC:

Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) envisions a safer, more secure world—where populations live in more disaster-resilient communities informed by science and technology, and equipped with sound decision support tools. To help make that vision a reality, PDC is dedicated to supporting evidence-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts by providing actionable information and applications to the public and disaster managers worldwide. PDC, a program managed by the University of Hawaii, was established by the U.S. government in 1996.