9 July 2010. As part of the on-going study on European-Africa cooperation, ESPI was invited by United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs to provide considerable input on policy and strategy issues to the UNSPIDER workshop in Addis Abeba.
This week the ESPI Resident Fellow Christina Giannopapa participated as presenter, moderator and rapporteur on policies and strategies issues discussion of the UN-SPIDER regional workshop “Building Upon Regional Space-based solutions for Disaster Management and Emergency Response for Africa”.
UN-SPIDER is the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER). This programs mission statement is to "Ensure that all countries and international and regional organizations have access to and develop the capacity to use all types of space-based information to support the full disaster management cycle". (UN-SPIDER )
UN SPIDER workshop organisers and ESPI Resident Fellow: From right: Michael Leitgab (UNOOSA), Andre Nonguerma (UNECA), Christina Giannopapa (ESPI), Juan-Carlos Villagran (UNOOSA), Agnieszka Lukaszczyk (SWF).
The UN-SPIDER Programme, in cooperation with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) , and in support from the government of Austria and the Secure World Foundation, organised the regional workshop to promote the access to and use of space-based technologies and solutions for disaster management and emergency response within relevant communities in Africa. Participants included representatives from the African Union, Economic Commission of Africa, European Commission, Regional Economic Communities, various National Ministries of African Countries, UN-Spider focal points, regional, national and international institutes, centres and universities, NGO’s, private companies. The workshop included presentations, talks and discussions on climate change, health and telemedicine with emphasis on the use of space-based technologies for disaster management and emergency response and preventions. Discussion sessions were focused on capturing and harmonising various existing networks, projects, initiatives and identifying gaps and exploring possibilities to institutionalise and strengthen current efforts regarding the use of space-based information technology and capacity building efforts at all levels.
Panel Session in “Ways to institutionalize Space-based information for Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response”. Panellists from the left were: Jean-Pierre Nana (Director Department of Civil Protection, Cameroon), Alhassan Nuhu (Deputy Director Planning, Research & Forecasting, NEMA, Nigeria), Madzudzo Spencer Pawadyira, (Director Civil Protection, Zimbabwe), Christina Giannopapa (ESPI), Miha, (Director of Civil Protection, Madagascar), Juan-Carlos Villagran (UNOOSA)
ESPI Resident Fellow Christina Giannopapa was invited to present on “Policy Perspectives in European-African Partnership through the Use of Satellite Applications” (presentation download here). This presentation provided and overview of “who is who” and “who is doing what” in the African continent. She outlined the need for mapping the activities and actors using satellite data in Africa and provided and overview of current activities. A special focus was placed on policy related actors on Africa and their relationship. Finally, she provided policy perspectives through a analysing the political, economic, technological and social factors. The need for an African Space Policy for issues of continental concern such as disaster management and emergency response, climate change, telecommunications was highlighted. For achieving sustainable development the strengthening of the cooperation between the African Union, the Economic Commission for Africa and its technical regional centres and the Regional Economic Communities is essential. Christina Giannopapa acted as a moderator for the Panel Session on “Ways to institutionalise space-based information for disaster risk reduction and emergency response” where panellists from civil protection and disaster management agencies engaged in discussion on exchanging best practices and institutional and regulatory aspects. Furthermore she acted as moderator and rapporteur on the Discussion Sessions of the Group working on “Policies and strategies”. This group meet for four sessions and discussed topics on networking and long term sustainability, capacity building efforts in Africa and ways to institutionalise space based information and disaster risk reduction and emergency response. The main recommendations of this group were that there is a need to identify “who is who” and “who is doing what” in Africa, the need for an pan-African space policy in disaster management and emergency response which in the short term can be supported by the existing actors of the African Union, Economic Commission for Africa its technical centres and the Regional Economic Communities and in the long term by the creation of an African Space Agency.
The ESPI participation in the UN-SPIDER Workshop was in conjunction with the ESPI project on “European-African Partnership using Satellite Applications for Sustainable Development in Africa” (the project is led on ESPI’s side by Resident Fellow Christina Giannopapa). The Belgian EU Council Presidency, in the second half of 2010, will use the ESPI study as an input.