Space and GIS for Disaster Management

In order to ensure inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development, ESCAP promotes the integrated use of space-based data for disaster risk reduction. One of the ways in which this is achieved is through online geo-referenced information systems for disaster risk management (Geo-DRM). A Geo-DRM system combines disaster data with critical disaggregated socio-economic data for evidence-based policymaking and effective disaster management, and can be considered a decision support system for disaster managers and national disaster management authorities.

Decision support for disaster risk reduction, is based on sound information which is current, relevant and timely. The nature of such a system, or information architecture, should be comprehensive, inclusive and robust. In order to create and maintain such a system, collaboration between ministries, national agencies and international organizations is essential, as is the use of national and global data from these entities. It is therefore imperative to ensure that data sharing, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and other institutional agreements are in place, in order to facilitate such collaboration.

ESCAP prioritizes countries with special needs in the use of space-based data for disaster risk reduction. Through various projects, ESCAP has positioned Geo-DRM portals within the appropriate national authorities, so that they can provide a centralized, credible and inclusive space for collecting, analyzing and disseminating disaster related data. Information on these Geo-DRM portals is coupled with satellite imagery and socio-economic information, to provide a holistic overview and integrated decision support.