(October 13, 2020 / JNS) The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the creation of a regional support office for UNOOSA’s UN-SPIDER program, the United Nations announced in a statement on Monday.
The program, the full name of which is “United Nations Platform for Space-Based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response,” is, as its name suggests, geared towards leveraging space for disaster management and risk reduction. Regional support offices (RSOs) for the program collaborate with UN-SPIDER on “technical advisory support, capacity building and outreach,” according to the statement.
The new RSO, bringing the total number to 25, is to be located in BGU’s Earth and Planetary Image Facility, which conducts research on advancing satellite and airborne remote sensing applications for a variety of uses. The RSO at BGU “adds precious expertise on satellite technology to the network,” said the statement.
According to the MoU, UNOOSA and BGU will collaborate, among other things, on emergency-response management, capacity-building on space-based technologies for disaster management and the dissemination of methods and results from Earth observation.
UNOOSA director Simonetta Di Pippo said, “I am delighted to see the UN-SPIDER’s network of RSOs continuously growing, adding diverse, top-class expertise to its resources and allowing the sharing of knowledge on a global scale. Through the RSOs, our work to help countries leverage space tools to counteract disasters is scaled up to improve the lives of more people worldwide.”
Professor Dan G. Blumberg, vice president of Ben-Gurion University for regional and industrial development, said: “This is an exciting moment where we will be making our long-term research scientific knowledge available to support relief efforts when needed. Our ability to observe Earth from space and rapidly analyze complex imagery is being put to good use worldwide, mitigating disasters such as tsunamis, earthquakes, drought and others. We wish our university and UNOOSA a fruitful collaboration on capacity building and training in this very important field.”
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
One of the most intriguing stories of the sudden Coronavirus crisis is the role of the internet. With individuals forced into home quarantine, most are turning further online for information, education and social interaction.
JNS's influence and readership are growing exponentially, and our positioning sets us apart. Most Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas. JNS is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.
During this crisis, JNS continues working overtime. We are being relied upon to tell the story of this crisis as it affects Israel and the global Jewish community, and explain the extraordinary political developments taking place in parallel.
Our ability to thrive in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters. Monthly donations in particular go a long way in helping us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make during these challenging times. We thank you for your ongoing support and wish you blessings for good health and peace of mind.