United Nations/Germany Expert Meeting on Space-based Information for Flood and Drought Risk Reduction

Villagran De Leon Juan Carlos, Hecheltjen Antje, Anne Pustina


Recent disasters such as the Fukushima disaster triggered by the tsunami in 2011, the extremely large floods in Europe and in the Philippines in 2013, as well as other disasters around the world are manifesting the fact that risks remain hidden from view and from perception until disasters uncover them. As a way to address this lack of perception, the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), which emerged from the World Conference on Disaster Reduction held in Kobe, Japan in January 2005, highlighted that starting points to reduce disaster risk include the generation of knowledge regarding the hazards that communities are exposed to; their physical, social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities; and the knowledge regarding the ways in which such hazards and vulnerabilities are changing in the short and long term.

Space technologies, especially Earth observation and global navigation satellite systems, provide data which can be used for risk assessment. However, the potential contribution of space-based information to disaster-risk management is not yet fully exploited – technical solutions are not tailored enough to the needs on the ground, and space-based information is rarely easily accessible to disaster managers.


UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER organized the United Nations/Germany Expert Meeting for Flood and Drought Risk Reduction on 5 and 6 June 2014 in Bonn, Germany to discuss the potential applications of space-based information for drought and flood-risk management and identified which elements would be of relevance for the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The objective of the Expert Meeting was to identify and take note of potential ways in which space-based applications can contribute to the achievement of the goals and targets to be defined in Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.


Drought, Flood, Satellite, Space Technologies, Remote Sensing, Knowledge Management

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UN Conference on Sustainable Development's Rio+20 conference on June 22, 2012 released this outcome document: "The Future We Want"


UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction/UNISDR (2013): Proposed Elements for Consideration in the Post-2015 Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction


United Nations General Assembly (2012): Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 27 July 2012/Resolution A/RES/66/299


United Nations General Assembly (2013): Report on activities carried out in 2013 in the framework of

the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response