The United Nations Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) has announced dates and is also calling for applications to participate in its 2019 International Conference. The conference is scheduled to take place in the U.N. Campus, Bonn, Germany between November 8 and November 11, 2019. The theme of this year’s conference is “Space-Based Solutions for Disaster Management in Africa: Challenges, Applications, Partnerships”.
The International Conference aims to contribute to increased use of big space data approaches and satellite-based application in African countries to respond to challenges posed by natural hazards. More specifically, the event aims to:
- Showcase recent advances and identify challenges to the use of space-based information, big data approaches and artificial intelligence techniques, such as machine learning in disaster management in Africa.
- Present and provide a hands-on experience of space-based applications through tutorials on technical solutions, ranging from standalone desktop packages to cloud computing environments that facilitate the access to and use of space-based data and information products for disaster management.
- Build on the outcomes of United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) international conferences and symposia to identify capacity-building needs and opportunities regarding full use of the increasing amount of space-based information and new techniques to access, combine, process, analyze and present the data.
- Provide a forum to discuss partnerships to facilitate access to data and applications tailored to the needs of disaster management stakeholders in Africa.
The 2019 UN-SPIDER Bonn International Conference is being jointly organised by UNOOSA/UN-SPIDER, the University of Bonn’s Centre for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) and the German Aerospace Centre (DLR). The conference’s target audience includes staff from national, regional and international public and private organisations and institutions in the global space industry.
Recently, the European Union and the Government of Germany identified international cooperation with Africa as one of the priorities as highlighted in the Marshall Plan with Africa of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Africa Strategy 2014-2018 of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the G20 Compact with Africa. Africa is subject to various extreme weather, climate, ecosystem and geological events, and this conference aims to not only take up these issues, but also continue to identify challenges, highlight solutions and encourage partnerships for using space technologies for disaster management in Africa.
Due to funding constraints, the organisers will be able to offer support to only a limited number of participants from member states of the United Nations. The support will defray the cost of travel (round-trip ticket – most economic fare – between the airport of international departure in their country of residence and Bonn, Germany) and/or room and board expenses during the duration of the event. Life/major health insurance for each of the selected participants is necessary and is the responsibility of the candidate or his/her institution or Government. The organisers will not assume any responsibility for life and major health insurance, nor for expenses related to medical treatment or accidents.
The deadline for applicants seeking funding is 30 August 2019, while self-funded applicants can apply until 18 October 2019. Fill the application form to apply.
Visit the official conference page to learn more.
Jerry Chiemeke is an editor, writer and mental health advocate. His works have appeared in Bellanaija, True Nollywood Stories, Music In Africa and The Guardian, among others. Jerry is the winner of the 2017 Ken Saro Wiwa Prize for Reviews. He is a Senior Editor at Space in Africa.