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GMES Emergency Services to ensure complete disaster responses

(Nov 2008) The International Charter “Space and Major Disasters”, launched by CNES (the French Space Agency) and ESA, and signed on 20 October 2000, is a global disaster response system dedicated to delivering satellite data through an established and organised user base, the so-called authorized users.

The latter are mainly disaster management centres in Europe such as national Civil Protection agencies and the Monitoring Information Centre (MIC) of DG Environment.

In November 2008 the ESA, in association with CNES and BNSC (the British National Space Centre), organised a workshop to promote and optimise the access and use of satellite imagery for disaster response. The main aim of the workshop was to collect feedback from the authorised users, while the main topics discussed concerned the submission of requests for data to the Charter and the utilisation of Charter-based results by the broad range of end users.

Finally, representatives from ESA and CNES summarized that the functions of the Charter are simple and include Earth Observation (EO) missions in response to requests from a pre-defined user list, making EO data available rapidly and free of charge, and organizing the base of pre-defined users. Seen from the user’ side, improving access to the Charter is a priority which requires efforts to raise awareness around Europe and worldwide.

Today other capacities to provide functions similar to those of the Charter are already available or under preparation. Amongst such examples, the GMES Emergency-Response (ERCS) will provide geo-information services to support preparedness, rehabilitation or reconstruction efforts, as well as enhanced crisis observation methods using systematic and anticipative approaches, end-to-end-service validation, etc.

This evolution will significantly help to better address overall disaster management issues. The cooperation between the Charter and the GMES Emergency-Response is building up.

Source GMES.Info

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