19-22 September 2016 (Beijing, China)
The 6th Annual UN-SPIDER Conference, jointly organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People's Republic of China, was held in Beijing on 19-21 September 2016. The event gathered about 130 participants, including representatives of Space Agencies and Disaster Management Organizations from 35 countries, who visited relevant organizations as part of the three-day program.
<First Day: 19th September>
The key officials at the inauguration included: Mr. Benjie Yin (Deputy Director, General Office of China National Commission on Disaster Reduction) who delivered the opening remarks; Ms. Mei Chai (Deputy Director-General, Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Civil Affairs) who served as moderator; and Dr. Shirish Ravan (Secretary-General, UN-SPIDER Beijing Office) who provided an overview of sessions to be covered in the three-day program.
The sessions of the first day were "Building on UN-SPIDER 10 Years' Achievements" and "Risk Assessment and Mapping Using Earth Observation Data". There was presentation prior to each of these topics' discussions. In second session for instance, the value of radar sensing on satellite technology was highly evaluated, and the accuracy of drought prediction was discussed, which needs to be improved through observation and data accumulation.
<Second Day: 20th September>
The morning sessions of the second day were "Access to Data and Information for Risk Assessment" and "National Spatial Data Infrastructure and Data Framework to Support Disaster Management". The morning sessions highlighted the contribution of satellite data for flood and drought monitoring and prediction. Hence, initiatives such as the introduction of "GAOFEN", with series of high resolution earth observation satellite system in China, needs to be effectively promoted.
In the afternoon, three breakout sessions were organized, namely: "Monitoring indicators against the global targets of the Sendai Framework", "Procedural guidelines for sharing space-based information during emergency response", and "Crowd-source Mapping for risk assessment and emergency response". ADRC representative participated in the second breakout session, and reported the importance of proactive participation in learning events and capacity building enhancement in each country to facilitate sharing of space-based information.
<Third Day: 21th September>
The morning session of the third day was about "Networking and Engagement with the UN-SPIDER Network", where reports from Regional Support Offices (RSOs), including ADRC, as well as country reports were presented. In the afternoon, two separate site visits were organized - one group visiting the National Disaster Reduction Center of China (NDRCC) and the other group visiting the Yungang Satellite Earth Station. ADRC representative joined the first group that also visited the UN-SPIDER Beijing Office.
After the conference, the ADRC representative took the opportunity to visit his colleague of the NDRCC in the morning (9:30 - 11:00) of following day to discuss further strengthening of ADRC-NDRCC cooperation. She is the former ADRC Visiting Researcher(FY 2007) and is currently Director of Data Center, Satellite Application Center for Disaster Reduction at NDRCC.
In the afternoon (12:30 - 14:00) of the same day, a visit to the Executive Director of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) was also made to explore ways for collaboration and cooperation in improving collection of information.
Participation in this conference has helped to strengthen ADRC organizational networks with relevant countries and organizations as well as build wider human relations.