UNITAR and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) are pleased to announce the Symposium on “leveraging satellite applications for global challenges”. The event will take place in Geneva on 11 and 12 October 2011 hosted at World Meteorological Organization headquarters.

Building upon the 2005 UNITAR/OCHA Symposium which discussed the use of satellite applications in emergency response, the 2011 UNITAR/WMO Symposium seeks to further leverage satellite applications in the face of contemporary global challenges, from natural hazards to human security, at a time when much technological progress and a range of new tools and applications have considerably augmented the options for international users.

On the first day, the Symposium will host the first Geneva-based briefing by the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, a mechanism devised by forward looking space agencies to mobilize precious satellite data in case of natural disasters. This is the opportunity for United Nations agencies and programmes and experts from Permanent Missions to hear about the Charter and how it can be used to assist emergency response following disasters.

WMO buildingOn the second day, satellite data providers will present current and future satellite capabilities and a panel comprised of users will discuss current and future needs for satellite applications. This is a unique chance for both the industry and the user community to exchange views and understand each other better in a venue focusing on substance and dialogue. The day will also feature case studies through which participants will have the opportunity to explore how satellite-derived information has impacted decision making. Lessons learned from the case studies and gaps among satellite capabilities and user requirements emerging from the various sessions will be highlighted in the Symposium’s conclusions.

Registration is open and free: contact unosat<at>unitar.org (please replace <at> with @ when you type the email address)

Photo: the WMO headquarters in Geneva (courtesy WMO)