Strengthening Disaster Risk Reduction across the Americas: A Regional Summit on the Contribution of Earth Observations

September 3rd - 8th, 2017

Buenos Aires, Argentina *

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The Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Across the Americas Summit will provide the unique opportunity for needed joint dialogue and work planning between representatives of the scientific earth observation (EO) and DRR community, including stakeholders in regional preparedness and planning, disaster mitigation, emergency response, and recovery. Using the UNISDR Sendai Framework as an impetus, which calls for an increased role for science and technology in all stages of DRR, countries are now recognizing the intrinsic value that EO-data, information products and decision support tools can add by improving readiness and actions through all phases of disaster management. Until this Summit, scheduled for September 3-8, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, there have been few opportunities for the EO and DRR communities to convene for a series of dedicated meetings and joint activities focused on connecting the end- to-end flow of data and information from providers to practitioners and end users with specific attention to the social and culture context across the Americas. The aim of this Summit is to raise awareness of the role of EO in strengthening the ability to reach targets of the Sendai Framework, discuss and capture effective practices that break down barriers and close gaps, and foster collaborative action to reduce risk to lives, livelihoods, and infrastructure impacted.

The week-long Summit will convene government agencies, UN bodies, NGOs, Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, civil society groups, businesses, academic and scientific institutions and other stakeholder groups. The format will be a hybrid of individual group organizational meetings and joint activities and discussions, culminating in a regional-based disaster simulation exercise. Disaster Working Groups from both the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS - WGDisasters) and the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) initiative for the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) in the Americas (AmeriGEOSS) will hold their bi-annual meetings, as well as have the unique opportunity to come together to discuss improvements on the process for how data is gathered, shared and packaged to better meet the needs of regional decision makers and inform action. The Global Flood Partnership will convene a regional meeting and the other partnership organizations will have both individual and joint meeting tracks at the Summit. By having all these disparate groups in one facility at the same time, representatives will leave having gained meaningful new contacts, increased understanding of capabilities and needs, and advanced collaborative integrated work plans with tangible next steps to improve outcomes before the next disaster occurs. 

The Summit’s hallmark event will be a disaster simulation featuring recent regional events. The simulated exercise will engage all participants through a fictional disaster scenario, beginning with pre-event monitoring and preparedness, to early warning and initial response, through to recovery and restoration phases. During the exercise, participants will have the opportunity to experience the unique role each stakeholder group plays, discover interdependencies, test collaboration and validate assumptions. Scenario situations will be selected to be relevant to regional interest, require global to local response, and reveal how EO data and knowledge of earth and social systems can be effectively used. Participants will assess what are the capabilities and needs of policy leads, regional and on-the-ground decision makers, and learn what information products can be produced, and when and how they are available. Post-exercise, lessons learned will be captured and evaluated through a facilitated discussion and an After Action Report will be developed, which will ensure that future work plans are tied to real gaps and needs.

*Host: Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales

Working languages of the Summit: Spanish and English.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. David Green, NASA
Office Phone:  +1.202.358.0032
Office Fax: +1.202.358.2770

Jessica Seepersad, NASA
Project Manager
Office Phone: +1.202.358.0612

Ana Medico, CONAE
Office Phone: +54.11.4331.3446