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UNOSAT is a United Nations initiative to provide the humanitarian community with access to satellite imagery and Geographic Information System (GIS) services.

UNOSAT is a United Nations initiative to provide the humanitarian
community with access to satellite imagery and Geographic Information
System (GIS) services. UNOSAT is implemented by the UN Institute for
Training and Research (UNITAR) and managed by the UN Office for Project
Services (UNOPS). In addition, partners from public and private
organizations constitute the UNOSAT consortium.

The UNOSAT core team consists of UN fieldworkers as well as satellite
imagery experts, geographers, database programmers and internet
communication specialists. This unique combination gives us the ability
to understand the needs of our users and to provide them with suitable,
tailored solutions.

The goal of UNOSAT is to make satellite
imagery and geographic information easily accessible to the
humanitarian community and to experts worldwide working to reduce
disasters and plan sustainable development. To do this we acquire
satellite images from all commercial providers.

UNOSAT is a unique cooperation initiative between the UN, science and
satellite industry that ensures low-cost and high quality solutions.

UNOSAT provides services in the following areas:

  1. Satellite imagery selection and procurement assistance
  2. Image processing
  3. Map production
  4. Methodological guidance
  5. Technical assistance
  6. Training

(Credits UNOSAT)

Under the 6th Framework Programme for Research (FP6) activity ‘Global
Monitoring for Environment and Security’ (GMES), the Commission will
provide €1.1m support for a new research project, called “ASSIST”, on
improving risk warning and risk management of landslides, avalanches,
debris flows and floods in Alpine regions.

Under the 6th Framework Programme for Research (FP6) activity
‘Global Monitoring for Environment and Security’ (GMES), the Commission
will provide €1.1m support for a new research project, called “ASSIST”,
on improving risk warning and risk management of landslides,
avalanches, debris flows and floods in Alpine regions. The results of
this project can easily be extended to other mountainous areas. Under
GMES, the Commission is currently funding 14 projects. ASSIST is the
latest and fifteenth project.

Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen stated: “With the closure of
the latest call for proposals for space research projects, the
Commission has taken an important step in fostering dialogue between
stakeholders from both the provider and the user side of information in
the fields of environment and security. Whilst making the lives of
citizens safer, we are also helping EU industry to become more
competitive through developing a strong and innovative industrial pole
both for information services and space/terrestrial infrastructure.”

Mountain ranges or chains account for 30%
of EU territory, with some 30 million inhabitants. Areas include the
Alps, Sierra Nevada, the Island of Crete, the Pyrenees, the Apennines,
the Sierra de Estrela, the Massif Central, the upper Tatra and the
Carpathians. Mountain areas represent over 50% of the territory in
Italy, Spain, Greece, Austria, Switzerland and Portugal. The goal of
ASSIST is to implement pre-operational services and establish advanced
integrated safety and information services for the Alps.

Several important benefits can be obtained from an integrated use of
satellite based earth observation data, combining the all-weather
capabilities of SAR (synthetic aperture radar) images with high
resolution optical satellite data as a complement to existing airborne
and meteorological data. At a technical level, the project utilises
so-called “Service Nodes”, which are autonomously operated, such as
police, hospitals, air rescue, fire-fighters, etc. The nodes will be
laid out to support a) day-to-day monitoring and predictions of risk
mitigation scenarios and b) operation during actual crisis situations.
Seven partners from Austria, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, engaged in
different areas of research, satellite remote sensing, communication
technology, and alpine safety management, are collaborating in the
development of a product portfolio of safety and risk information for
direct use in the participating alpine safety information centres.

GMES
is a joint initiative of the Commission and the European Space Agency
aimed at improving environmental and security-related information to
better manage crisis situations.

The call for proposals constitutes a crucial part of the wider GMES
Action Plan which focuses on dialogue with and among stakeholders (e.g.
through the GMES Forum), user involvement (e.g. GMES Steering
Committee), cooperation and partnership (think tanks and networks, e.g.
the European Environment Agency – EEA) as well as information exchange
and information dissemination. Operational GMES services may be
provided by industry on a commercial basis, a prerequisite to the
development of a European industrial pole.

More information http://europa.eu.int/comm/space/programmes/gmes_en.html

(Credits EU – Communiques de Presse Rapid)

One Planet, Many People is intended for environmental policy makers,
non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academics, teachers
and citizens.

One Planet, Many People is intended for environmental policy
makers, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, academics,
teachers and citizens. This colorful and approachable atlas contains
photographs, satellite images, maps and narratives that provide
insights into the many ways people around the world have changed, and
continue to change, the environment.

Objectives

The main purpose of this hard-cover,
332-page, large-format atlas is to document visual evidence of global
environmental changes resulting from natural processes and
human-induced activities. Special objectives of One Planet, Many People
include:

  1. generating awareness of human interactions with the environment that alter the environment in demonstrable ways;
  2. providing scientific measurement of over-exploitation of the environment and consequences of such action.

To meet these objectives, the atlas provides:

  1. a collection of spectacular “before and after” satellite image pairs on various themes for 80 sites around the world;
  2. over 30 environmental case studies supported by narratives, images and ground photographs;
  3. and a compilation of recently released environmental maps.

A fantastic collection of maps and satellite images, which will enrich the environmental section of any library.

“One Planet Many People Atlas of Our
Changing Environment clearly illustrates that our ozonosphere has been
threatened by human activities. It also shows that this problem has
been practically solved due to the collaborative efforts of the
different sectors of our society. We all need to work together to
address the many other problems that affect the health of our planet.
As illustrated in this atlas, we need integrated, interdisciplinary
approaches to mitigate the adverse effects of human-induced activities
on the environment”.

Mario J. Molina

Co-winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in
Chemistry for his work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly
concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone. Institute
Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“One Planet Many People Atlas of Our
Changing Environment demonstrates how our growing number of people and
their consumption patterns are shrinking our natural resource base. The
challenge is how do we satisfy human needs without compromising the
health of ecosystems. One Planet Many People is an additional wake-up
call to this need”.

Ola Ullsten

Co-Chair World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development Former Prime Minister of Sweden

(Credits UNEP Atlas)

Agreement on Contribution to the 2005 World Summit Reached; Space and Water Discussed.

VIENNA, 20 June (UN Information Service) —

During
its 48th session, which was held in Vienna from 8 to 17 June, the
United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS)
agreed on a text that could be transmitted to the President of the
United Nations General Assembly by Member States of COPUOS for
incorporation into the draft outcome document of the 2005 World Summit,
to be held from 14 to 16 September 2005.

“The work that is conducted by the
Committee is strongly linked to the work of the other entities of the
United Nations system, and takes into account a great number of the
priority goals of the General Assembly, in particular the matters
relating to sustainable social and economic development”, the President
of the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Jean Ping,
told the Members of COPUOS in his opening statement.

Topics of discussion included space and water, space and society, ways
and means of maintaining outer space for peaceful purposes, spin-off
benefits of space technology, as well as issues raised in the
Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee
earlier this year. Those issues included space-system-based disaster
management support, space-system-based telemedicine, space debris, the
use of nuclear power sources in outer space, examination of the
preliminary draft protocol on matters specific to space assets and the
practice of States and international organizations in registering space
objects.

The Committee endorsed the activities of
the United Nations Programme on Space Applications for the second half
of 2005 and for 2006. It also reviewed the activities of the
International Satellite System for Search and Rescue (Cospas-Sarsat).
Among other activities, the United Nations Programme on Space
Applications holds training courses on satellite-aided search and
rescue.

Space and water

The Committee continued to consider its
agenda item on space and water. Space applications could contribute to
cost-effective water resource management as well as to forecasting and
mitigation of water-related emergencies. Remote sensing satellites
contribute to determining various water management indicators, such as
precipitation and changes in underground water storage, while
communication satellites are used for gathering data on water quality.
The Committee agreed to continue its discussions of this topic next
year.

Implementation of the recommendations of UNISPACE III

The Committee discussed the implementation
of the recommendations of the Third United Nations Conference on the
Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE III). In October
2004, the General Assembly reviewed the progress made in the
implementation of those recommendations and endorsed a set of future
actions proposed by the Committee in its report to the Assembly. The
Committee discussed some of those proposals.

Among other things, COPUOS agreed on
steps to establish a closer link between its work relating to the
implementation of the recommendations of UNISPACE III and the work
being carried out by the Commission on Sustainable Development.

The Committee also reviewed the progress
made in the work of the ad hoc expert group that is conducting a study
on the possibility of creating an international entity to coordinate
space-based services for use in disaster management.

Space and society

Under the agenda item on space and society,
COPUOS focused its discussions on space and education. The Committee
received information from Member States on several national
tele-education initiatives that are providing educators and students at
all levels, including those living in remote areas, with high-quality
education consisting of the latest teaching resources, vocational and
teacher-training and adult education, in fields such as women‘s
empowerment, family planning and skills for local artisans.

Symposium

A symposium on “Space and Archaeology” was
held on Monday, 13 June. The symposium was co-organized by the United
Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the
Institute for Global Mapping and Research of Austria. The symposium
addressed topics such as the current and future uses of space
technology in archaeology and archaeology‘s contribution to human
development, UNESCO‘s Open Initiative on the use of space technologies
to support the World Heritage Convention, space applications in
archaeological exploration and documentation in Syria, understanding
cultural and natural heritage information using space technology in
China, and remote sensing and virtual reconstruction of archaeological
landscapes.

The Committee agreed that a symposium on space and forests should be held during its next session, in 2006.

New permanent observer

The Committee granted the European Space
Policy Institute, an international non-governmental entity, based in
Vienna, permanent observer status with COPUOS.

Membership

COPUOS has the following 67 Member States:
Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin,
Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Chad, Chile, China,
Colombia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany,
Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan,
Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco,
Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines,
Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi
Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan,
Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United
States, Uruguay, Venezuela and Viet Nam.

The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of
Outer Space (COPUOS) was set up by the General Assembly in 1959 to
review the scope of international cooperation in the peaceful uses of
outer space, to devise programmes in this field to be undertaken under
United Nations auspices, to encourage continued research and the
dissemination of information on outer space matters and to study legal
problems arising from the exploration of outer space. COPUOS and its
two Subcommittees each meet annually to consider questions put before
them by the General Assembly, reports submitted to them and issues
raised by the Member States. The Committee and the Subcommittees,
working on the basis of consensus, make recommendations to the General
Assembly.

The United Nations Office for Outer Space
Affairs (OOSA) implements the decisions of the General Assembly and of
the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and its two
Subcommittees, the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal
Subcommittee. The Office is responsible for promoting international
cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space, and assisting
developing countries in using space science and technology.

Located in Vienna, Austria, OOSA maintains a website at http://www.unoosa.org/.

(Credits Spaceref)

On 20 June 2005, a summit between the European Union and the United
States of America brought together the Prime Minister and current
President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, Commission
President José Manuel Barroso, and US President George W. Bush in
Washington D.C.

On 20 June 2005, a summit between the European Union and the
United States of America brought together the Prime Minister and
current President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker,
Commission President José Manuel Barroso, and US President George W.
Bush in Washington D.C. The leaders explored means to eliminate
impediments to further economic integration and to develop a
forward-looking strategy to enhance the EU-US economic partnership.

A new EU and US Initiative was launched
to enhance transatlantic economic integration and growth. Both
countries will increasingly rely on innovation and advanced
technologies to stimulate economic growth and prosperity: the aim is to
increase synergies across the Atlantic as both economies become more
knowledge-based.

More particularly, activities will be
carried on to promote cooperation using civilian space-based
technologies for sustainable development, science/exploration, and
deepening the knowledge society. Targeted initiatives will encourage
collaboration on long-term basic research within the context of the
EU-U.S. Science and Technology agreement, and develop exchanges of good
practices concerning the policies needed to support science and
innovation.

(Credits EU-Space)

The 2005 Edition of the CEOS Earth Observation Handbook has been prepared by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The 2005 Edition of the CEOS Earth Observation Handbook has been
prepared by the European Space Agency (ESA). The report presents the
main capabilities of satellite Earth observations, their applications,
and a systematic overview of present and planned Earth observation
satellite missions and their instruments. It also explores society’s
increasing need for information on our planet. As humanity exceeds the
planet’s capacity to sustain us, such information is playing a vital
role in understanding, monitoring, managing and mitigating key Earth
System processes. This is true on a global scale, in support of
improved global environmental governance and the underlying conventions
and treaties (such as the Kyoto Protocol), and on regional and national
scales, as countries adapt competitively to shrinking reserves of
natural resources and to the basic needs of expanding populations.
Earth System information may be considered as the essential foundation
for sustainable development policies aimed at ensuring our continued
health and prosperity.

Source information

Comments on the presentation of April 5th on preliminary elements of European Space Policy (Interface with Industry). Paul Kamoun on behalf OF EARSC

Priorities

First of all, Europe needs a global space vision and associated
policies. This does not exist at the right level today except for the
realisation that present focus should be to put Space at the service of
the citizen. Within this context and for political, economic, social,
environmental, strategic, defence, technology, and industrial reasons
the priority must be put on Earth Monitoring as a whole including the
Environmental and Security dimensions, its Earth Observation,
Telecommunications and Navigation components and both its related space
and ground infrastructures. Such a priority must be translated in
short, mid- and long term planning and budgets.

Without swift and strong actions in these directions, the risks for the industrial space sector are that:

Satellite and sensors capabilities could be left to diminish in
large part,
Ground infrastructures could be left to receive mostly non-European
satellites data which mean no insurance of continuity of operation,
Value-added companies could face increase vulnerability in access to
data, as well as a paucity of European data leading to some VA
retailers elimination,
Users would face a lack of strategic and critical data, thus limiting
their autonomy,
European decision makers would face a loss of independence on the world
scene,
European stature in EO downstream market might decrease (it is now
about 300 Me annual i.e. 1/10 of U.S.; Ref.: ESYS, 2005).

The GMES programme as a flagship would be an important step forward
but must be fully deployed in its science and applications, technology
convergence and international dimensions.

Roles and responsibilities

EU should federate institutional demands and needs in relation with:
GMES
Security
Navigation
Regional Needs

EU should play an important regulating role:
On location based services linked to GALILEO
Widening universal service in broadband
Emphasising the strategic and political nature of space activities

Industry is eager to see in Europe quick decisions on, and a clear
definition of, who is doing what. First outlines of roles and
responsibilities given in page 8 of the “Preliminary Elements of the
ESP” are satisfactory in the XX-led area but must be quickly detailed
in the XX-Contribution area.

Industrial Policy Principles

The main concerns of European Remote Sensing companies are related to:
Maintaining the competitiveness and technological independence of European Industry,
The needs for the support of public authorities,
The urgency to start GMES with existing users, without waiting for future end-users to join in,
The needs for real programmes and not only FP,
The needs for proper financing mechanisms, at 100% level for non commercial applications,
The poor funding received by EO companies in the last years due to emphasis on space transport

Questions on GMES extracted from the preparation of the ESA Council at Ministerial level

– Should GMES become the European participation to GEOSS (Global Earth Observation System of Systems), decided on the Earth Summit in Brussels?

– Should Europe try to get independence in space borne data sources or should it only complement what is available e.g. in the US?

– Should we use another joint undertaking to implement GMES or should we use other cooperation models foreseen in the framework agreement (ESA as implementing agency of the EU)?

– Is the GMES financing model proposed the right one? (ESA pays phases A+B, mixed funding for phases C/D and EC funding after the first satellites including operation)

– Are the requirements defined so far, coming from the 12+4 initial GMES services and from the analysis of the data gaps in Europe the right ones?

Important dates to have in mind:

– High level on Space Policy Group- 3rd week March

– Joint Secretariat issues (EU Council, Coreper and ESA bodies) – beginning
April

– EU Council process documents- 3rd week April

– Draft joint document- end April

– High level on Space Policy Group, HLSPG, examine documents- beginning May

– Joint Secretariat revised draft documents- 2nd week May

– Research working party processes- 17 May

– Coreper I, finalised draft joint document- 27 May

ESA processed finalised draft joint document- end May

– Second Space Council- 7 June

More information

Socio-Economic Benefits Analysis of Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP along with ESYS Consulting plc and DNV
(the Consortium) have been contracted by the European Space Agency
(ESA), in cooperation with the European Commission (EC), to perform a
socio-economic benefits study of Global Monitoring for Environment and
Security (GMES), an initiative being developed jointly by the EC and
ESA, with the objective of establishing by 2008 a European capacity for
global monitoring of environment and security.

The objectives of the study are to:
Characterise and evaluate the overall benefits and impact resulting from GMES implementation;
Produce a political and strategic view of the benefits and impacts due to GMES implementation;
Evaluate benefits against cost envelopes from an economic perspective;
Understand the variation in benefit resulting from different implementation levels for GMES;

The Consortium will be undertaking a comprehensive consultation
exercise during the spring and summer of 2005 and will be contacting
key GMES stakeholders shortly. We welcome input from the Earth
Observation community on the perceived benefits of GMES and the
mechanisms by which these benefits can be demonstrated and quantified.
The Consortium can be contacted by email.