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N° 31–2004: Space and Major Disasters Charter agencies strengthen ties with UN-Colloquium at UNESCO, Paris

15 June 2004

On 18 June, during a colloquium at UNESCO, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (OOSA), represented by its Director, Mr Sergio Camacho, will announce that the United Nations intends to remain a “cooperating body” supporting the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters. OOSA intends to enhance promotion of the Charter and to act as gateway for United Nations agencies responding to natural disasters and emergencies. The colloquium is being jointly organised by the French space agency (CNES) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), with ESA participation, in the framework of the Canada-France 2004 celebrations.


ESA, CNES and the CSA became the founding parties to the Charter during the UNISPACE III conference held in July 1999. After five years in operation, the Charter has been activated more than 50 times in all parts of the world, supporting the management of disasters caused by floods, oil spills, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and fires.

To date, the founding parties have been joined as parties to the Charter by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Argentinian Space Agency (CONAE). The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has applied to become a party.

The Charter is based on voluntary contributions, by all parties, of Earth observation satellite data. Its main purpose is to supply states or communities whose populations are exposed to risk or have been affected by a natural or technological disaster with data providing a basis for anticipating and managing potential or actual crises. It relies on limited space capabilities offered by the parties but “this is a focused, concrete demonstration of what a more ambitious programme of global environment and security monitoring can deliver to disaster mitigation and crisis management authorities”, said José Achache, ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes.

Media representatives wishing to attend the colloquium at UNESCO in Paris are kindly requested to complete the attached reply form and fax it back to the ESA Media Relations Division at ESA Headquarters in Paris (fax. + 33(0)

For further information:

Stephen Briggs

Head of Science and Applications Department

ESA/ESRIN Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes

Tel. + 39.06.941.800

Josef Aschbacher

Programme Coordinator

ESA Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes

Tel. + 33(0)

Jérôme Béquignon

Programme Coordinator

Secretary of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters

ESA Directorate of Earth Observation Programmes

Tel. +33(0)

Jean-Charles Bigot

International Relations

ESA Directorate of External Relations

Tel. +33 1 5369 7738



Colloquium- Earth Observation

National, European and International Initiatives

Room IV, UNESCO - 7, place de Fontenoy

Paris, 18 June 2004

8:30 - Registration/Coffee

9:00 - Welcome to participants

Facilitator: Serge Plattard, Deputy Director, Strategy and Programmes, Head of International Relations, CNES

9:10 - Opening remarks

Marcio Barbosa, Deputy Director-General, UNESCO

9:20 - Opening

Laurette Glasgow, Minister Plenipotentiary, Canadian Embassy

9:30 - CNES Earth observation initiatives

Stéphane Janichewski, Director, Strategy and Programmes, CNES

9:50 - ESA Earth observation initiatives

Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA

10:10 - CSA Earth observation initiatives

Marc Garneau, President of CSA

10:30 - United Nations statement on the International Charter

10:45 - Break (press interviews)

11:00 - The International Charter and disaster management

Introduction and video – presentation of the Charter

Surendra Parashar, Director, Satellite Operations, CSA

Review of the first 4 years

Jean-Luc Bessis, Programmes Directorate, Risk Management Coordinator, International Charter Board Member, CNES

User perspective

Col. Philippe Nardin, Head of Mission, International Relations, Directorate of Defence and Civil Security

Future prospects

Stephen Briggs, Head of Science and Applications Department, Earth Observation Directorate, ESA

12:00 - Lunch

Facilitator: Michel Giroux, Director, External Relations, CSA

13:30 - Emerging Earth observation applications (I)

GMES, TIGER initiatives

Josef Aschbacher, Programme Coordinator, Earth Observation Directorate, ESA

World heritage protection

Mario Hernandez, Chief, Remote Sensing, World Heritage Centre, UNESCO

Public and private actors

Pierre-Alain Schieb, Head of Future Projects, OECD

14:30 - Emerging Earth observation applications (II)

Hervé Jeanjean, Continental Environment Programmes, Earth Observation, CNES

Claire-Anne Reix, Alcatel, GMES Project Manager

Bernard Coquil, EADS Astrium, Head of New Applications Development & Proposals Division, Ground Systems, Applications & Services Directorate and Patrick Houdry, Environmental & E/O Applications Senior Manager

Paul de Fraipont, Director, SERTIT

Virendra Jha, Vice-President, Science, Technology and Programmes, CSA

Ed Kennedy, Managing Director, Canadian GeoProject Centre Ferdinand Bonn, Canada Research Chair in Earth Observation, University of Sherbrooke

16:15 - Break

16h30 - Round table on future opportunities - Moderator: Luc Tytgat, Head, Space Policy and Research Coordination Unit, European Commission

Daniel Vidal-Madjar, Responsible for Earth Observation Programmes, CNES

Jean-Marc Nasr, President, Spot Image

Jean-Marc Chouinard, Head, Commercialisation Office, CSA

Pierre Engel, Director, International Network Stations, RADARSAT International

Josef Aschbacher, Programme Coordinator, Earth Observation Directorate, ESA

Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, UNESCO

17:45 - Closing remarks

Stéphane Janichewski, Director, Strategy and Programmes, CNES

18:00 - Cocktail

Press contacts:

Franco Bonacina

ESA Media Relations

Tel. : + 33(0)

Fax : + 33(0)

Jean-Charles Bigot

ESA International Relations

Tel. : + 33(0)

Fax : + 33(0)

Simonetta Cheli

ESA/ESRIN Communication Office

Tel.: + 39.06.9418.0350

Fax: + 39.06.9418.0352

Colloquium- Earth Observation

National, European and International Initiatives

Room IV, UNESCO - 7, place de Fontenoy – Paris 7ème

Paris, 18 June 2004

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Media: _____________________________________________________

Address: ___________________________________________________



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Please fax back this accreditation request to :

ESA Media Relations Division

Tel : +33(0)


For further information:

ESA Media Relations Division

Tel: +33(0)

Fax: +33(0)