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Building back better after COVID-19: addressing cascading risks and systemic gaps for resilient people and economies

Side Event
1 Days
Programme Area
Special event, Satellite Imagery and Analysis
Specific Target Audience
Event Focal Point Email
Private – by invitation
Mode of Delivery
Virtual conference
United Nations Satellite Centre UNOSAT
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This event will be organized during ESCAP’s third Disaster Resilience Week from 23-27 August 2021 under the theme “Building back better after COVID-19: addressing cascading risks and systemic gaps for resilient people and economies.” It will celebrate UNOSAT’s 20 years of satellite imagery applications and ten years of partnership with ESCAP, highlighting past and ongoing achievements for enhanced disaster resilience.  

Since 2001, UNOSAT has been providing satellite imagery-based solutions and capacity development to UN funds, programmes, specialized agencies, and member States in support of the achievement of the SDGs. UNOSAT is active in crisis response, sustainable recovery, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and building climate change resilience. On its 20th anniversary, the United Nations Economic and Social Council approved a resolution recognizing UNOSAT as the United Nations Satellite Centre.

In close collaboration with ESCAP, UNOSAT established its regional liaison office in Bangkok in 2012 to extend capacity development and analytical support to ESCAP member States. Benefiting from the partnership with ESCAP, UNOSAT has held numerous learning events and workshops in 15 countries in the region, reaching over 850 participants.

UNOSAT has recently renewed its partnership with NORAD, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, to strengthen capacities in the use of geospatial information for improved resilience in the Asia Pacific. This includes 6 ESCAP member States.  UNOSAT will be contributing to implementation of ESCAP’s Asia-Pacific Plan of Action on Space Applications for Sustainable Development (2018-2030), which is an inclusive and country-needs driven blueprint to harness space and geospatial applications and support countries to achieve the 2030 Agenda.  The new project of UNOSAT aims to strengthen knowledge, skills and awareness related to DRR, climate resilience, environmental preservation and food security activities and programmes, as well as enhanced evidence-based decision making for SDGs implementation. UNOSAT, together with NORAD, plan to launch the project during the side event.


Spurred by the accelerated adoption of digital innovations, many countries in the Asia-Pacific region are leveraging geospatial information to provide timely evidence and insights for their responses to disasters. In addition to UNOSAT, ESCAP is working together with a number of other partners, through the Regional Space Applications Programme (RESAP), to make geospatial data, tools, and innovations accessible, available, and affordable to all.

Opening keynotes:

Nikhil Seth, UN ASG, ED UNITAR

Kaveh Zahedi, Deputy Executive Secretary for Sustainable Development, UNESCAP

Launch of the Risk and Resilience Portal

Expert discussion on the disaster-health-climate riskscape. Panelists: UK MET Office, RIMES, WMO, BIMSTEC, OCHA (TBC)

Dignitaries, DRR experts, Alumni of UNOSAT training events.