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Information, Communication and Space Technologies for more disaster resilient societies in Asia-Pacific. Dr. Xuan Zengpei Director, Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

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Dr. Xuan Zengpei

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Dr xuan zengpei

Information, Communication and Space Technologies for more disaster resilient societies in Asia-Pacific

Dr. Xuan Zengpei

Director, Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division,

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

Asia pacific world s most disaster prone region

Asia-Pacific: world’s most disaster prone region

Socio economic impacts of disasters

Socio-economic impacts of disasters

Macroeconomic effects

Impact on livelihoods and poverty

Impact on health and education

Psychosocial impacts

Gender impacts

Socio-economic vulnerability to disasters

Rising economic costs of disaster

Rising economic costs of disaster

  • 2011 was the costliest year ever in terms of disaster’s impact: US$ 366 billion worldwide vs. US 222$ bn in 2010

  • Top 3 disasters occurred in Asia/Pacific:

    • Great East Japan earthquake and Tsunami: US$ 210 bn

    • Floods in Thailand: US 46 $ bn of which 70% is manufacturing sector, earthquake in NZ: US$ 16bn

  • Sometimes economic losses more drastic in relative terms

    • Pakistan floods in 2010: losses: 8.3% of GDP, Maldives Tsunami 2004: 53.6% (!)

  • Regional economic spillover effects of disasters following closer integration of regional production chains

    • E.g.: disaster in Japan impacted Philippines automotive production by -24% in the three months following Tsunami

Dr xuan zengpei

ESCAP is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region

62 Governments - from Turkey in the west to Kiribati in the east, and from the Russian Federation in the north to New Zealand in the south

The largest United Nations body serving the Asia-Pacific region with over 600 staff

ESCAP has more than five decades of experience integrating disaster risk management with economic and social development in the region

ESCAP has Eight subsidiary Committees, with two on Information and Communications Technology, and Disaster Risk Reduction: they belong to Information and Communications Technology & Disaster Risk Reduction Division (IDD)/ESCAP serves these two committees.

Information and communications technology and disaster risk reduction division idd

Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division (IDD)

Goal: To promote applications of information and communications technology and to enhance regional cooperation for improved disaster risk reduction and management,

as well as for improved management of the associated socio-economic risks, for inclusive and sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific

3 Sections: ICT and Development, Space Applications, Disaster Risk Reduction; and a regional institution: APCICT; Two affiliations: ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee and WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclone.

Space Applications Section: Strengthened regional cooperation mechanisms in space applications for disaster risk reduction and development (through affordable access and effective use of Space products & services).

ESCAP recognizes enabling role of space tech within the development context–initiated regional remote sensing programme (RRSP) in cooperation with UNDP, in 1983.

Dr xuan zengpei




ESCAP Regional Space Applications Programme (RESAP) – Since 1994

1. Regional Cooperation Mechanism for Drought Monitoring & EW (sharing EO products and services ), flood ; 2. Regional Platform SatCom based disaster emergency communications; 3. Capacity building thru RESAP Networks for disaster management 4. Pacific Connectivity 5. Capacity building on Georeference /geospatial database for countries with special needs.

… + Capacity Building + Applications

Capacity building efforts – floods and drought disasters; Pacific Connectivity and Emergency Communications; RESAP networks

Regional Space

Applications Programme

for Sustainable


in Asia and

the Pacific



New Delhi,1999

Awareness Building

Launch of RESAP (Space Tech Applications Section established in 1994: instituted 3 tired structure): – Intergovernmental Consultative Committee; Regional Working Groups on various themes; and Education and Training Networks: short-med-long term training (China, India and Indonesia)0



Dr xuan zengpei

ESCAP Regional Space Applications Programme (RESAP) – Since 1994

  • Institutional Mechanism – Intergovernmental Consultative Committee (ICC) – Members Space and User Agencies – addressing development and DRM issues – annually meets to review progress and formulate work program (annually)

  • Promoting Regional Cooperation Mechanisms –

    • RESAP Education and Training Networks for capacity building (China (Wuhan Univ.), India (CSSTEAP) and Indonesia (LAPAN)) : to assist regional countries’ affordable access and effective use of Space applications for Development and DRM

    • Enhancing Regional Cooperative Mechanisms for DRM - drought mechanism, platform for emergency communications,

    • Others: Georeferenced/geospatial database for disaster risk preparedness, Pacific Connectivity

Resap initiatives for sharing eo information

RESAP: Initiatives for sharing EO information

Regional cooperation initiatives

Sentinel-Asia with resources of India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Thailand

Using both earth observation and communications satellites

Asia Pacific Satellite Cooperation Organization (APSCO) with 9 founding members

Other global initiatives

UN Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (SPIDER)

International Charter Space and Major Disasters


China, India and Thailand to support drought disaster management

Dr xuan zengpei

Collaborative building of regional disaster communication capacities

ESCAP, through the regional Inter-Agency Working Group on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) which has more than 20 members representing United Nations entities and international organizations, facilitated at its 14th meeting, held on 11 August 2010, to make joint efforts to promote an Asia-Pacific regional platform for disaster communications capacities, with collaborative emergency communications capacity as its core component.

Follow up to 14 th iwg decision

Follow up to 14th IWG Decision

The ITU Asia-Pacific Regional Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Emergency Telecommunications held in Ulan Bator, Mongolia from 8 to 10 July 2011 (in cooperation with ESCAP) recommended that for an effective regional cooperation

(i) through expansion of partnerships on regional cooperation

mechanisms such as the ITU Framework on Cooperation Mechanism

(IFCE), Inter-agency Working Group for building regional capacity for

emergency communications using Public-Private-Partnership (PPP)

model, among others;

(ii) on provision of platforms for discussions and knowledge sharing;

(iii) on commitments and/or obligations through international treaties/

cooperative frameworks such as the Tampere Convention.

Dr xuan zengpei

Integrating Pacific to the RESAP through linkage to Asia Space Network as part of ICT for Pacific Connectivity

To promote capacity development for enhanced Pacific Connectivity, ESCAP and ITU jointly have put in place a plan to assist 19 Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) for comprehensive capacity development.

The framework of Asia Space Network under ESCAP’s legacy of Regional Space Applications (RESAP) wherein space agencies of China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and Thailand form a network for cooperation to share their space resources for development and disaster reduction is planned to be harnessed.

As a part of ICT for Pacific Connectivity, ESCAP has strategically put in place a concrete plan to link up PICTs with Asia Space Network in different phases.

Dr xuan zengpei

Improving disaster risk preparedness in the ESCAP region: geospatial information

  • The project aims to strengthen government capacity in the implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) through the use of standardized geo-reference/geospatial tools.

  • This project is expected to have two major accomplishments:

    • that governments will be able to establish and use geo-referenced information systems for disaster risk identification, preparedness, post-disaster assessment and recovery planning; and

    • that a regional-level network is established which will link communities of practice for Geographic Information Systems (GIS), statistics and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) applications.

Escap key deliverables

ESCAP – Key Deliverables

Evidence based Analytical Study

  • Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction, Strategic Investments

  • Climate Change Adaptation through DRR

  • Strategically using innovative technologies – ICTs, Space

  • Information/knowledge Sharing

  • Repository of best practices from region

  • - Focus on mainstreaming disaster risk reduction

  • - Policies, Standard Operating Procedures etc..

  • Capacity development and governance

  • AVA Module 9 & 10 disaster risk management and

  • Climate change abatement

Dr xuan zengpei

ESCAP Regional

Trust Fund-

Tsunami, Disasters and climate preparedness

Regional Integrated Multi-hazard Early Warning Systems (RIMES)


Panel on

Tropical Cyclone


Typhoon Committee

Committees on

Disaster Risk

Reduction & ICT

ASEAN-UN Agreement

- Envt & Disaster Management

A Multi-prongedApproach

ESCAP Regional Capacity Development Strategy for Disaster Resilience

Escap regional coordination role

ESCAP: Regional Coordination Role

  • Post Cyclone ‘Nargis’ Response -

  • Tripartite Partnership UN – ASEAN

  • and Govt of Myanmar

  • Expedited the flow of aid in desperate

  • need and to begin quickly reconstruction

  • Part of Post Nargis Joint Assessment

  • Facilitation of Recovery/Rebuilding

Regional coherence, synergy and maximum combined impact from the efforts of UN agencies

ESCAP - the secretariat

of the Asia-Pacific RCM

Dr xuan zengpei

ASEAN UN Agreement on

Disaster Management

ASEAN and the


  • ASEAN-United Nations Strategic Plan

  • of Cooperation on Disaster Management

  • (2011-2015) will address:

  • Operational issues and capacity-building issues prioritised in the AADMER

  • Risk and vulnerability assessment and risk reduction; preparedness, early warning and monitoring; prevention and mitigation; response and recovery; and aspects of reconstruction and development

  • Collaboration between ASEAN and the United Nations following Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar..0

3rd ASEAN-UN Summit, Oct 2010, Ha Noi

Dr xuan zengpei

ESCAP Trust Fund for Tsunami, Disaster and Climate Preparedness

Regional Architecture for Multi-hazard Early Warning

Dr xuan zengpei

Regional Multi-hazards Early-Warning System (RIMES)

  • R&D for hydro- met

  • disaster risk information

  • Enhancing capacities to

  • respond to early warning

  • information at national /local

  • Establishment of Regional core observation networks

  • Provision of Regional tsunami watch

Regional watch services

heavy precipitation

RIMES Agreements

Signed by countries

Including Philippines




And Tsunami

dry spell


National capacity building

storm surge


Community resilience

Dr xuan zengpei

ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee and Panel of Tropical Cycloneare the regional bodies of the WMO tropical cyclone programme in Asia and the Pacific

ESCAP: Building the Capacity for Cyclone/Typhoon Early Warning

Source: WMO

Dr xuan zengpei

Key Partners







Dr xuan zengpei

Harnessing Space for Disaster Risk Management

Need for Capacity Development based on a Holistic Approach involving Global, Regional, National and Local Actors /Agencies

1st Session of Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction, March 2009


Networking for

knowledge & Capacity building


Response & Action

RegionalNational Local

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