San José, Costa Rica, 7-10 May 2024 (with a possibility of online attendance)
Hosted and supported by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
Co-sponsored by the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW)
Venue: Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture Headquarters, San José, Costa Rica
Rationale and context
The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the Government of Costa Rica, and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) are jointly organizing a conference to promote the use of space technology in water management to the benefit of developing countries.
The Conference will be held in San José, Costa Rica, from 7-10 May 2024, hosted by and with the support of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) on behalf of the Government of Costa Rica.
The Conference is the sixth international event focusing on applications of space technology for water in the series of conferences organised with the financial assistance of the PSIPW.
The initial event, on 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, the third conference in Rabat, Morocco in April 2014, the fourth in Islamabad, Pakistan in February-March 2018 and the fifth in Accra, Ghana in May 2022.
The conference series on the use of space technology for water management started in 2008 and is part of the UNOOSA Space for Water Project in cooperation with the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water. The purpose of the conferences is to increase the number of developing countries that have developed the capacity to use space science and technology, as well as related applications, for water management and water-related scientific research. With a scientific and technical focus, the conferences of this series involve experts from all world regions but have a focus on regional needs and challenges. Speakers consist of experts who will present how concrete technical actions have improved water management in their area of expertise, and experts who will debate in panel discussions about either technical or policy topics. Besides the main event, practical hands-on experience opportunities, like demonstration sessions or workshops, have taken place to complement the more theoretical and scientific presentations and panel discussions.
In 2024, UNOOSA, Costa Rica and the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) will jointly organize the sixth conference on the use of space technology for water management with the support of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).
To feed growing a population while maintaining access to clean drinking water and sanitation, and ensuring the water needs of healthy ecosystems, humanity needs to change the way water is used in food production. Agriculture uses 70% of freshwater resources worldwide, and the World Bank estimates that we will also need a 70% higher output from agricultural production by 2050 to nourish an increasing population.
The objectives of the conference are:
- To raise awareness on and expand the use of space technologies and space-based data for better application in hydrology, water resource management, ecosystem preservation and within the context of the Water-Food Nexus;
- To further the active exchange of knowledge between government authorities, technical experts and academia, the private sector and civil society via technical presentations, panel discussions and networking opportunities;
- To demonstrate how projects using space applications have successfully informed decision-making and policy;
- To demonstrate space-related activities, services and cooperation programmes among different user groups, in particular government officials, the diplomatic community, UN and international agencies as well as NGOs;
- To build capacity on topics relevant to Latin America and the Caribbean; and
- To exchange on and co-develop solutions for pressing water challenges
- To report to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space through the Scientific and Technical Sub-committee.
Technical sessions, panels and lightning talk sessions for poster presentations will focus on space technologies and data supporting the assessment, monitoring, research and reporting on topics related to hydrology, water resource management, ecosystem preservation and within the context of the Water-Food Nexus. The main conference themes read as follows:
- Water Scarcity: Space technologies to adapt agriculture to climate variabilities
- Space technology and data for water quality monitoring and sustainable agriculture
- Satellite communication - a facilitator for IoT-supported water applications
- Space technologies monitoring forests, agroforestry, watersheds and their interplay
- Space technology and data for glacier monitoring
- Workshop: Co-creating space-based solutions for water challenges