This handbook forms part of a series of knowledge products developed in collaboration with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) institutions and ASEAN member countries. The series is designed to increase capacity and skills as well as promote institutional development for countries wishing to embrace innovative space-based information in disaster risk management. The series also supports the development of standard operating procedures and information sharing policies for the utilisation of space-based information in relevant countries.
This handbook provides procedural guidelines for sharing space-based information during emergency response. While satellite-derived and geospatial information is often used for increasing situational awareness in the aftermath of disasters, many disaster managers are unfamiliar with the systematic approach necessary for properly utilising such innovative applications. There is a lack of standard processes and procedures across agencies, making it difficult to coordinate national activities as well as regional cooperation and support during emergencies. Free satellite-data for emergency response is increasingly becoming available and accessible, but end-users are often unaware of such global and regional initiatives. Furthermore, the procedures for requesting space-based information from the growing number of data providers can vary, with no consolidated set of instructions, as there are multiple platforms for sharing information at national, regional and international levels, which can often create confusion.
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in collaboration with the Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, and the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, space agencies and national disaster management authorities in ASEAN countries, has compiled this set of procedural guidelines to provide structure to and define processes for accessing and sharing space-based information during emergency response. The guidelines have been developed in close collaboration with operational staff and are based on the best practices in the region. Extensive consultations led to the identification of operational needs during a series of workshops held over the course of 2015 and 2016. The guidelines have been field tested in various settings with some countries adopting these guidelines as standard practice and many others expressing their desire to adopt similar practices.
It is our hope that this handbook with its practical procedural guidelines for the use of space-based information will significantly contribute to strengthening the disaster risk resilience of countries in the ASEAN region.