UN-SPIDER Bonn International Conference: "Space-based Solutions for Disaster Management in Africa: Challenges, Applications, Partnerships"

The importance of using space technologies in the disaster management process has received growing global recognition in recent years. For example, the African Union outlined in its 2017 African Space Policy that among other things, space represents a unique opportunity for cooperation in using and sharing infrastructure and data to proactively respond to and manage natural hazards and disasters. In addition, the potential of new technologies and techniques, such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data, to improve the use of space-based data is receiving increased attention.

With a specific focus on Africa, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), through its UN-SPIDER Bonn office, and the University of Bonn’s Centre for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) are organizing the UN-SPIDER Bonn International Conference “Space-based Solutions for Disaster Management in Africa: Challenges, Applications, Partnerships” from 6 to 8 November 2019 in Bonn, Germany.

The event aims to share opportunities for strengthening local disaster management capacities in Africa using space-based information. This will be done in an interactive way, making use of technical solutions ranging from desktop packages to cloud computing tools. Additional discussions include exploring partnerships to facilitate access to space data, and evaluating the opportunities and challenges associated with using new approaches, such as big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, to assist the disaster management process in Africa. 

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