Increasingly, natural disasters are causing considerable loss of life and disrupting national economies, severely weakening the affected countries. While neither natural nor man-made hazards can be entirely prevented, information and communication technologies (ICT) can help reduce their impact and avoid them turning into disasters that impede sustainable development.
This event brings together stakeholders in disaster management and seeks to launch a number of practical initiatives. These are aimed at providing universal access to telecommunications/ICT resources to national entities and their staff, United Nations Organizations, local and international NGOs involved in rescue and relief operations, and to victims of disasters, in a timely manner. The
ITU Framework for Cooperation in Emergencies (IFCE) coordinated by a High Level Panel of Eminent Persons is the main initiative that seeks to deploy on-demand ICT applications and services anywhere-anytime in the immediate aftermath of a disaster thanks to the synergy built around its Technology, Finance, and Logistics Clusters.
Effective disaster management calls for solid preparedness. A Workshop on Remote Sensing, which is an integral part of the Global Forum on Effective Use of Telecommunications/ICT for Disaster Management: Saving Lives and Disaster Management will be held. This workshop is organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with the Group on Earth Observation Systems (GEO), and the French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) is an integral part of the “Global Forum on Effective use of Telecommunications/ICT for Disaster Management: Saving Lives” to be held in Geneva, from 10 to 11 December 2007. (more)
This event, which attracted high-level representation from governments, regulatory authorities, the private sector, United Nations entities, and Non-Governmental Organizations, resulted in an increased awareness of the part that each of the participating entities can play in giving telecommunications/ICT a central role in disaster mitigation. A number of new products and practical initiatives
were launched at this important gathering, including: