ASEAN workshop leverages space-based information for emergency response

April 28, 2014

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is addressing challenges that stakeholders face in obtaining accurate information for sound decision making during crisis and disaster by increasing the availability of and access to vital space-based and geo-information needed for an effective ASEAN emergency response.

In an effort to more effectively link and leverage disaster management and space technology practices, the UN Platform for Spaced-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER), and its Regional Support Office, which is hosted by, Lembaga Penerbangan dan Antariksa Nasional (LAPAN, the Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space & Remote Sensing Affairs) co-organized a workshop on “Development of mechanisms for acquisition and utilization of space-based information during emergency response.” Held on April 15–17 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the event also included support from the AHA Centre, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UN ESCAP), and Australian Aid.

Fifty-five representatives from eight ASEAN Members States attended the workshop, and were joined by participants from Japan, China, the United Nations, and the private sector. A pre-conference questionnaire relating to four established workshop objectives was circulated to participants. Their responses not only provided valuable insight regarding ASEAN countries, but also served as the workshop’s framework to ensure sustained participant engagement. Participants discussed each defined objective following pertinent presentations by experts in the field.

Opening the event, the Chairman of LAPAN, Prof. Thomas Djamaluddin, provided welcoming remarks focusing on the importance of space-based technology to disaster risk reduction and rapid delivery of essential information to all stakeholders. As one of the experts invited, Pacific Disaster Center’s (PDC) Indonesia National Representative Whisnu Yonar delivered a presentation related to one of the workshop objectives: preparing rapid mapping products and their dissemination to disaster managers, decision makers, and leaders. Yonar’s presentation focused on PDC’s recently deployed hazard early warning and decision support system for Indonesia, InAWARE, emphasizing the system’s ability to deliver and share decision-support information, including space-based resources, to all stakeholders.

Discussions during the workshop resulted in the recognition of key suggestions, considerations, and challenges, which will be shared as a collated document with member countries and the AHA Centre at a later date.

For additional information about the ASEAN workshop:
• Read the UN-SPIDER article about the workshop.
• Learn about the the deployment of InAWARE at BNPB.
• See how InAWARE was highlighted during a UN-SPIDER meeting. 

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