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International Charter on ‘Space & Major Diasters’ completes 5 years

The International Charter on ‘Space and Major Disasters’, a cooperation
initiative created between the European Space Agency (ESA), the
National Centre on Space Studies of France (CNES) and the Canadian
Space Agency (CSA) has completed five years.

To mark the completion of five years, Indian Space Research
Organisation (ISRO) has conducted a Special Session with ISRO Chairman
Dr G Madhavan Nair presiding over. ISRO Secretary DOS Mr Jean-Luc
Bessis of CNES has delivered Keynote address on ‘Disaster Management.
Charter functionaries from CNES, CONAE, CSA, ESA, ISRO, JAXA,
NOAA, UN, USGS and DMC have also participated in the two-day proceedings.
The participants have deliberated on the
impact of the Charter, its performance, capabilities of Remote Sensing
for disaster Management, the response to recent disasters etc.
The Charter has been providing access to
value added earth observation satellite data from all parties to
countries whose populations are exposed to risk or have been affected
by a natural or technological disaster. Since November 2000, the
Charter has been activated more than 80 times to assist in emergencies
such as floods, fires, landslides, typhoons, violence eruptions, oil
spills, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes and civil accidents which
have occurred all around the globe.
With a
low response time of 38-48 hours and by facilitating high reliability
data, the Charter has proved the effectiveness of space information for
emergency management.
During December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
disaster in India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Thailand no less than 200
sensor images received from satellites owned or operated by the Charter
members were distributed. The Charter also provided space information
in the Hurricane Katrina during which levees were breached and flood
waters submerged the City of New Orleans on August 29-2005.