A new global framework for sharing space technology for disaster risk reduction
By Milind Pimprikar

Sunday, 8 March 2015


The need for a UN-driven global initiative on sharing space technology for disaster risk reduction is responsive to national, regional and globally-interconnected disaster and environmental management efforts, which involve every country and know no geographic boundaries. No single country can afford to develop a complete set of sensors and satellite systems needed for forecasting, monitoring and mitigating disasters like floods, drought, typhoons, earthquakes, wild fires, windstorms, or tidal events.

By creating common data and access standards across communities and by working together as one disaster response system of systems, agencies and emergency management teams can improve their level of preparedness before a natural disaster occurs.

The vision for the proposed UN led Global-Sat is to create a common platform that allows the sharing of space and data segments, with an ability to serve as a strong tool for a nation’s disaster management and development needs.

Collaborating and sharing information mutually enhances nations’ disaster management capability and the economic prosperity of their territories. The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs has played a key role in the establishment of international space cooperation frameworks. The proposed initiative now calls for the establishment of a new global framework for the free exchange of disaster and climate monitoring information.

The UN Global-Sat plan offers an opportunity for constructive engagement in space technology with partners that will increase partner nations’ capacity, tailored to specific disaster management requirements.

At the UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, CANEUS, a global non-profit organization, is proposing to define technical, policy, and financial issues, and to frame an implementation plan for the UN Global-Sat constellation. The eventual goal is to establish a public/private partnership that would create a low-cost, internationally shared data collection and distribution backbone in space with no barriers to entry for participating nations.

Milind Pimprikar is Chairman of the CANEUS (CANada-EUrope-US-ASia) network, founded in 1999, that serves to bridge the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” to develop a common platform for space technology solutions for natural and man-made disaster management.

Over the past 15 years, CANEUS has created international Consortia covering public-private-partnerships of stakeholders within Asia, Africa, Americas and Europe for developing, integrating and testing affordable space technology solutions through sharing of cost and risk for forecasting, monitoring and mitigating disasters. CANEUS has assisted governments help set up early earning warning systems and disaster preparedness by undertaking “Limited Objectives Demonstration” pilot projects to develop data standards and determine implementation barriers.