In its resolution 61/110 of 14 December 2006 the United Nations General Assembly agreed to establish the “United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response – UN-SPIDER” as a new United Nations programme, with the following mission statement: “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”.
A number of initiatives in recent years have contributed in making space technologies available for humanitarian aid and emergency response. Yet, UN-SPIDER is the first to focus on the need to ensure access to and use of such technologies during all phases of the disaster management cycle, including the risk reduction phase which is crucial for reducing the losses of lives and property.
The UN-SPIDER programme is achieving this by focusing on being a gateway to space information for disaster management support, by serving as a bridge to connect the disaster management, risk management and space communities and by being a facilitator of capacity-building and institutional strengthening, in particular for developing countries. UN-SPIDER is being implemented as an open network of providers of space-based solutions to support disaster management activities. Besides Vienna (where UNOOSA is located), the programme also has an office in Bonn, Germany as well as an office in Beijing, China.
Financial and in-kind support, in the case of Vienna, is provided by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG).
The Bonn Office benefits from the financial and in-kind support provided by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the German Aerospace Center.
The Beijing Office benefits from the financial and in-kind support provided by the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.