Recovery Observatories for Decision Makers
Since 2020, CEOS has been collaborating with the World Bank, UNDP, and the European Union in the context of the CEOS Recovery Observatory Demonstrator (RO Demo). This innovative program operates on a best effort basis to make satellite data and derived products available after major disasters, showcasing the critical role satellites can play in support of Post Disaster Needs Assessments, and the development of Recovery Frameworks. An advocacy paper was drafted by the group to help describe the importance of the use of satellites for recovery, and can be found here: https://www.gfdrr.org/en/publication/use-of-eo-satellites-recovery
The Working Group on Disasters (WGDisasters) has led the CEOS effort for the Recovery Observatory, and is working on ensuring the sustainability of the programme. The RO Demo was activated for the port explosion in Beirut, hurricanes Eta and Iota in Central America, the Haiti earthquake in 2021, and the historic Pakistan floods in 2022. Furthermore, the RO Demo program was cited in the UN General Assembly’s Space 2030 Agenda. More about the RO Programme can be found here.
One of the early conclusions of the RO Demo is the need for greater awareness of the usefulness of satellites for recovery within the Disaster Risk Management (DRM) community. As a result, CEOS WGCapD (Working Group on Capacity Building and Data Democracy) and WGDisasters defined a joint outreach activity to increase awareness within the global DRM community. As a first step, the activity aims to showcase the use of satellites for recovery at three regional events in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
The first awareness event was held in El Salvador during the regional forum on Disaster Risk Reduction organised by CEPREDENAC (Coordination Centre for Disaster Prevention in Central America and the Dominican Republic), in December 2022. CEOS addressed an audience of some 200 participants, including heads of national civil protection agencies from several Mesoamerican countries. DRM leaders from Latin America have shown strong interest in the use of satellites for recovery, and CEOS, together with its Tripartite agreement partners, UNOOSA and UN-SPIDER, and space agencies from the region, will continue to develop the vision for sustained use of satellites for DRM.