The 8th United Nations International Conference on Space-based Technologies for Disaster Risk Reduction-“Enhancing Disaster Preparedness for Effective Emergency Response” was held from 24-26 October,2018 in Beijing. China. The Conference was co-organized by the United Nations Platform for Spaced-Based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) Beijing Office of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs(UNOOSA) and the Ministry of Emergency Management of the People’s Republic of China, in collaboration with the Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the People's Republic of China and the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
Dr.Li Xinjun, the Secretary-General of APSCO led the APSCO delegation, comprising the Director General of Department of Education and Training and Database Management of APSCO, Dr. Mohammad Ebrahimi Seyedabadi, Deputy Director General of Department of Administration and Finance of APSCO, S.M. Humayun Kabir and 16 participants from APSCO Member States in the conference. Dr.Li Xinjun addressed the opening ceremony and mentioned that APSCO has been actively supporting the UN-SPIDER Conference for the past few years and APSCO was dedicated to enhancing the cooperation with UN-SPIDER Office and other organizations engaged with space-based technology for disaster management and risk reduction to benefit the related countries; promoting technological advancement and multilateral international cooperation in space-related affairs across the Asia-Pacific region. One of APSCO’s most important missions is to promote the use of space-based technologies for disaster monitoring. APSCO Secretariat has always been staying true to its mission, by placing a high value on and actively supporting the related activities.
About one hundred participants from 34 countries and eight regions are participating in the conference. It brings together national organizations involved in disaster management and generating geospatial information in the countries where UN-SPIDER undertook technical advisory support activities. The conference is also attended by representatives of UN-SPIDER Regional Support Offices, various regional and international organizations, and experts from different parts of the world.
The conference addressed topics such as supporting international and regional organizations in developing their early warning systems and emergency response mechanisms with regards to environmental hazards and comprised a keynote session, five plenary sessions, three breakout sessions, a concluding session consisting of 49 presentations and institutional visits to two organizations. Experts and officials from different parts of the world had deliberations in the plenary sessions and parallel working groups. The institutional visits took place at the National Disaster Reduction Centre of China (NDRCC) and the National Satellite Meteorological Centre.