Press Releases

    7 September 2007

    United Nations to Hold Symposium on Space Tools and Solutions for Monitoring the Atmosphere in Support of Sustainable Development

    VIENNA, 7 September 2007 (UN Information Service) -- A four-day Symposium on "Space Tools and Solutions for Monitoring the Atmosphere in Support of Sustainable Development" will be held in Graz, Austria, at the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, from 11 to 14 September. The Symposium is being organized within the framework of the United Nations Programme on Space Applications by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), the Government of Austria and the European Space Agency (ESA). It is the second in a series of consecutive symposia specifically dealing with atmosphere-related issues and promoting activities to carry out the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002. The Symposium is hosted and co-sponsored by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, the State of Styria, the City of Graz and ESA.

    The forthcoming Symposium aims to provide new insights into the integration of space applications with global efforts in support of sustainable development. The main focus of the Symposium will be on space tools and solutions for monitoring the atmosphere, with the aim of enabling and supporting participants in developing and implementing projects in this area, and to provide reliable data and information for policy- and decision-making related to such issues as air quality, climate change, changing weather patterns, ozone depletion and ultra-violet monitoring.

    Keynote addresses will be made by representatives of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Key organizations and institutions involved in atmosphere monitoring-related activities, such as the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and national and regional space organizations will be represented at the meeting. A hands-on training session for the participants, providing demonstrations of the exemplary use of satellite data for atmosphere monitoring, will be organized by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States.

    Around 70 decision makers and programme managers from governmental institutions and the private sector from the following countries are expected to attend the Symposium: Algeria, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Gambia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Seychelles, Slovenia, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Thailand, the Philippines, the United States, Tunisia, Uganda, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. The following intergovernmental, international and national organizations will participate: Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamic of Austria (ZAMG), International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), European Commission, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), European Space Agency (ESA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), United States Geological Survey (USGS), World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA).

    The detailed programme of the Symposium and related information are available at


    Press briefing

    At the press briefing,  the organizers of the Symposium and experts will provide journalists with information on the issues that will be addressed during the Symposium.

    Date and time: 11 September 2007 11:00 a.m.

    Place: Institute for Space Research, Austrian Academy of Sciences

    Schmiedlstrasse 6, Graz, Austria.

    For information on the press briefing, please contact:

    Hans-Peter Weingand,
    Public Relations, Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
    Tel: +43 - (0) 316 876 1150
    Mobile: +43 - (0) 699 1876 1150
    E-mail: ;

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    The United Nations Programme on Space Applications is implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and works to improve the use of space science and technology for the economic and social development of all nations, in particular developing countries. Under the Programme, the Office conducts training courses, workshops, seminars and other activities on applications and capacity building in subjects such as remote sensing, communications, satellite meteorology, search and rescue, basic space science, satellite navigation and space law.

    The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting developing countries in using space science and technology. Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at .