United Nations / Pakistan / Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water - 4th International Conference on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management
Co-sponsored by the Inter-Islamic Network on Space Science and Technology (ISNET)
Hosted by the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) on behalf of the Government of Pakistan
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) are jointly organizing the above Conference to promote the use of space technology in water management to the benefit of developing countries.
The Conference will be held in Islamabad, Pakistan, from 26 February to 2 March 2018, hosted by the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) on behalf of the Government of Pakistan and co-sponsored by the Inter-Islamic Network on Space Science and Technology (ISNET).
The Conference is the fourth international event focusing on water-related aspects of space technology applications in the series of conferences organised in co-operation with, and with financial assistance of the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) and ISNET. The first such event, the United Nations/UNESCO/Saudi Arabia International Conference on the Use of Space Technology for Water Management, took place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in April 2008, the second conference was organized in March 2011 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the third one in Rabat, Morocco in April 2014.
2. Background and objectives
Space technologies, including satellite remote sensing technology in particular, have demonstrated proven capabilities in meeting challenges of water resource management, as rapid population growth and development pressures continue to impose additional stresses on scarce resources. Continuous Earth observations from space are crucial to manage water resources for the benefit of humankind and the environment, as well as to provide important forecasting services to prevent water-related disasters such as floods and droughts.
Remote sensing satellites provide data on several key water-related variables (for example, rainfall, precipitations, floods, droughts, water storage, soil moisture and evaporation) using spatial and temporal scales that are appropriate for reliable assessment. A satellite-based approach to assessment and management of water resources is especially important in countries and regions of the world where adequate hydrological networks do not exist.
Starting with its session in 2004, the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) began to consider matters related to the use of space-related technology in water resource management. The Committee noted that in response to the deepening water crisis, space technology could contribute to a better water resource management by providing data and information on the availability of water resources and water use. The Committee also noted that once converted into practical information, scientific data on water resources provided by satellites could be used to formulate policy and implement programmes at the national, regional and international levels, including those of the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and other entities of the United Nations system.
Furthermore, as the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs prepares for UNISPACE +50 (http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/ourwork/unispaceplus50/index.html) to take place in June 2018, and is working on defining a Space2030 vision in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and of other international agreements, the importance of considering how space technologies and related applications can support the implementation of those SDGs and agreements becomes even higher. The discussions, findings and recommendations of this Conference will also be important in implementing the priority roadmaps on health and resilient societies, towards Space2030.