14 October 2009

UN-SPIDER Stresses the Role of Space-Based Information for Disaster Management on The International Day for Disaster Reduction

VIENNA, 14 October (UN Information Service) - Today, the United Nations observes the annual International Day for Disaster Reduction to promote a global culture of natural disaster reduction, including disaster prevention and preparedness. To honour this event and draw the world's attention to several devastating natural disasters that have struck the world in recent weeks, the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) organized a series of presentations in the Vienna International Centre to demonstrate its response efforts to natural and man-made disasters.

Established by the General Assembly and implemented by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA),UN-SPIDER provides universal access to all types of space-based information and services relevant to disaster management. When a disaster strikes, UN-SPIDER coordinates access to satellite imagery of the affected area through the SpaceAid Framework, which includes a network of space agencies, satellite data providers, and mapping agencies. Aiming to bridge the disaster management and space communities, UN-SPIDER, among other things, facilitates the provision of value-added maps to decision-makers and relief agencies in order to respond in a timely and efficient manner to disasters.

According to Mazlan Othman, Director, UNOOSA: "The recent tragic events in Asia serve as clear reminders that continued international efforts for disaster response and risk reduction need to be intensified in order to counter the massive disruption to societies and economies caused by disasters. Such efforts will be strengthened when the full benefits of space-based information are transferred to the disaster-response community."

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For further information, please contact:

Jamshid Gaziyev
Associate Programme Officer, UNOOSA
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4958
Email: jamshid.gaziyev@unoosa.org

For additional information on UN-SPIDER, please contact:

Michael Leitgab

Associate Programme Officer

Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4472

Email: michael.leitgab@unoosa.org