SPEAR Events

As part of the SPEAR project, UN-SPIDER and ZFL organize and conduct events such as conferences, expert meetings, trainings or others, with a focus on supporting African countries in their efforts of using space-based technologies in the context of disaster management and emergency response. This page provides an overview of recent and upcoming events organized by UN-SPIDER and ZFL as part of the project.


The UN-SPIDER/ GloFAS / DLR / ZFL International Workshop: “Space technologies for flood management” aimed at contributing to an increased use of satellite technologies and novel processing techniques to respond to challenges posed by disasters. The International Training Workshop aimed:

  • To raise awareness regarding novel techniques and tools developed by DLR, the Copernicus programme, and UN-SPIDER useful in flood management.
  • Contribute to increase the skills of young professionals engaged in the use of Earth observation and novel geospatial information technologies to contribute to flood management efforts.
  • Facilitate networking efforts among young professionals engaged in disaster management efforts.

The International Training Workshop included plenary presentations, a training on the use of novel techniques to process satellite imagery in case of floods, and a simulation of floods to familiarize participants with novel procedures and… Read more

Floods and droughts are some of the most frequent natural disasters that can become a major threat to livelihoods, food-security, infrastructure and even life. Remote sensing and earth observation provide valuable tools to monitor ongoing floods and drought, assess the current situation from space and produce products that can support stakeholders and decision makers.

This training is organized by the Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) of the University of Bonn in Germany and aims to provide an overview of Copernicus tools and data in the context of floods and droughts. With the help of the tools and platforms presented during this training, you will be able to make use of earth observation data in the context of floods and droughts without the need of extensive background knowledge. There will be a focus on African examples throughout the training. The training is specifically meant for participants from African countries from government agencies, academia,… Read more

Floods, exacerbated by climate change, cause tremendous damage to societies around the world. They lead to loss of lives and property, displace people from their homes and destroy livelihoods, as well as they disrupt sustainable development efforts worldwide. Developing countries are particularly susceptible to the impact of floods as societies are more vulnerable and exposed, and less resilient to recover when disasters strike.

Space technologies and services are contributing to monitor such natural hazards, to map their geographical extent, and areas affected by such hazards. The National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), the National Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), the Centre for Space Science and Technology Education (CSSTE) and other institutions in Nigeria have been using such space technologies to address challenges posed by such hazards.  

To promote the use of space technologies in… Read more

The UN-SPIDER programme of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL) of the University of Bonn successfully concluded the UN-SPIDER Bonn International Conference: “Space-based Solutions for Disaster Management in Africa: Networks and Information Technologies in times of crisis”. The virtual conference brought together more than 130 experts and participants from African, Asian, and European institutions to take note of novel applications developed by the space community to contribute to disaster management efforts, and advances by African and European institutions on the use of satellite technologies in their activities.

The conference, held from 16 to 18 November, was opened by the Director of UNOOSA, Ms. Simonetta Di Pippo, who noted the need to address the challenges posed by hydrometeorological hazards using space technologies.  Opening remarks were also provided by senior… Read more

Space-based Solutions for Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Response for Southern Africa

UN-SPIDER and ZFL are holding a regional virtual expert meeting for Southern Africa, a region vulnerable to hydrometeorological, geological, coastal and biological hazards and gravely impacted by droughts in recent years.

The objectives of this regional virtual expert meeting are:

  • To raise awareness regarding novel applications of satellite technologies in risk assessment, early warning systems, and disaster response operations;
  • To survey and examine efforts carried out by risk and disaster management institutions in Southern African countries on the use of space technologies and space-based information in disaster risk management, preparedness, response and recovery efforts;
  • To explore ways to enhance the use space technologies in disaster risk management and response and recovery applications in Southern Africa.… Read more