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 Thursday, September 28, 2006

The International Telecommunication Union along with the Commonwealth Telecommunication Organization (CTO) organized a three-day Forum 26-28 September on Using ICT for Effective Disaster Management. The meeting at Ochos Rios, Jamaica adopted a road map for better coordination in the use of state-of-the-art information and communication technologies (ICT) aimed at improved disaster preparedness and mitigation. This includes:

  • formulation of appropriate policies

  • deployment of appropriate technologies

  • ratification and implementation of the Tampere Convention for free movement of technical equipment in case of disaster

  • capacity building for users of ICT services and applications

  • establishment of national platforms that help countries to be ready to use ICT when disasters strike

  • development of common regional strategies on integrating ICT in all phases of disaster mitigation: early warning, preparedness, response and relief

  • Speaking at the opening session of the Forum, Mr Philip Paulwell, Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy & Commerce of Jamaica, reiterated that the Caribbean countries are among the most vulnerable areas in the world to tropical cyclonic events. "Following the 2004 Ivan hurricane disaster and Emily in 2005 it became evident that the lack of communications was one of the significant weaknesses of the regional disaster management framework," Mr Paulwell said. "Both intra-agency communications as well as public information have been identified as requiring improvement." He added that we should "move forward through the creation of an effective process for the development of early-warning information using ICT and media broadcast technologies, develop a publicly accessible website containing real-time disaster monitoring information, and implement a regional database of survey results and findings for selected disaster events to support the project’s engagement with policy-makers."

    The three-day forum focused on improving early-warning communication and disaster preparedness in the Caribbean region, developed practical tools to augment national disaster management strategies and initiatives, built effective relationships among national and regional stakeholders in effective disaster management and mitigation, assessed the impact of recent disasters and discussed the role of ICTs in disaster risk prevention, preparedness, relief and reconstruction.

    Still reeling from the aftermath of the 2005 hurricane season, the most active and destructive in history, experts in the Caribbean region decided to look the storms in the eye and prepare for future disasters. In 2005, a record number of 27 storms and as many as 13 hurricanes pounded the vulnerable Caribbean coastline. These included Hurricane Wilma, the most intense in recorded history, and Katrina, the most destructive with an estimated USD 50 billion in insured damage.

    Access to information is of paramount importance in the immediate aftermath of a disaster for relief agencies to coordinate search-and-rescue, medical intervention and rehabilitation efforts. There is an urgent need to establish effective and comprehensive communication links between the affected area, national disaster response facilities, and with the larger international community. This is particularly important for countries with fragile economies and countries with special needs, such as least developed countries and Small Island Developing States.

    More information on ITU's press releases website at http://www.itu.int/newsroom/press_releases/2006/18.html

    Thursday, September 28, 2006 10:51:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    Manager of the Nevis Disaster Management Office (NDMO), Lester Blackett and Nevis Island Administration Director of Information & Public Information Officer with the Nevis Disaster Management Committee, Huey Sargeant are attending a three-day Forum entitled 'Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for effective Disaster Management'. 

    The forum which takes place from September 26th to 29th, 2006 focuses on the various communication technologies such as telecommunications, broadcasting (radio and television), and information technology such as the internet in managing the information associated with Disaster Management.

    It has been acknowledged that information surrounding disasters was available.  However, there is great difficulty when information has to reach the persons in a timely manner for it to be effective.
     
    Disaster Management recognized that many disasters cannot be prevented.  Therefore, it strives to minimize human suffering and according to all of the speakers at the end of the first day's session, getting information to the relevant persons and agencies was critical in achieving the goal.
     
    More information on SKNVibes.com - Basseterre,St. Kitts and Nevis at http://www.sknvibes.com/News/NewsDetails.cfm/1891
    Tuesday, September 26, 2006 10:49:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Thursday, August 31, 2006

    The 2005 hurricane season wreaked havoc in the Caribbean region. Never before had the Atlantic seen 27 tropical storms -- including four in category 5 -- and as many as 15 hurricanes in one season. The storms left a death toll of 2,280 people in their wake, with more than 3 million people displaced and an estimated USD100 billion in economic damage.

    In response to a call for action from the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-06) to develop ICT-based solutions to cope with emergency situations, the International Telecommunication Union along with the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) is organizing the Caribbean Forum 2006 on Using ICT for Effective Disaster Management. The event, which will be held in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Sept. 26-28, 2006, aims at improving early-warning communication and disaster preparedness in the Caribbean region while reducing vulnerability to natural disasters and mitigating their effects through the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICT).

    The three-day forum will address policy, regulatory and technological issues related to emergency telecommunications and look at practical ways by which ICT can help mitigate disasters.

    More information on Public CIO - Folsom,CA,USA at http://www.public-cio.com/newsStory.php?id=2006.08.31-100816

    Thursday, August 31, 2006 10:46:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Friday, July 14, 2006

    Stepping up its efforts for disaster mitigation and relief, the United Nations today announced an agreement with the Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company to provide portable satellite terminals, a major factor in rescue operations.

    “The tsunami that wreaked havoc in south East Asia, the Kashmir earthquake, the Suriname floods, and the Indonesia earthquake have demonstrated the power of emergency telecommunications in saving lives and coordinating efforts during rescue operations such as the setting up of telemedicine links,” said Yoshio Utsumi, Secretary-General the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which concluded the accord.

    Thuraya, the United Arab Emirates satellite-based company, is contributing handheld satellite terminals along with solar chargers, while ITU will pay for airtime at discounted rates offered by Thuraya and cover transportation costs of telecommunications equipment to and from disaster-hit areas. ITU will also provide its expertise in technical and operational training for government officials involved in rescue missions.

    In the light of a spate of recent natural disasters, the World Telecommunication Development Conference meeting in Doha in March called upon ITU to develop solutions in emergency telecommunications directed at improving early-warning communication, disaster preparedness and mitigation.

    More information on Noticias Info, Spain at http://www.noticias.info/asp/aspComunicados.asp?nid=200035&src=0

    Friday, July 14, 2006 10:31:10 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Tuesday, July 11, 2006

    The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company yesterday announced an agreement to provide portable satellite terminals to assist countries in disaster mitigation and relief. The agreement comes in response to a call to the ITU during the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC) held in Doha in March, to develop such an emergency telecommunications systems.

    In the light of a spate of natural disasters and calamities in recent times, the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-06) meeting in Doha in March 2006 called upon ITU to develop ICT-based solutions in emergency telecommunications directed at improving early-warning communication, disaster preparedness and mitigation.

    This is a critical area of concern especially for countries with fragile economies and special needs, such as least developed countries and small island developing states.

    For more information, go to The Peninsula on-line, Qatar's leading English daily at http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=Local_News&subsection=Qatar+News&month=July2006&file=Local_News2006071191841.xml

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006 3:54:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

    The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UAE based Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications (Thuraya) have concluded an agreement to provide portable satellite terminals to assist countries in disaster mitigation and relief.

    Under the agreement, Thuraya would be providing handheld satellite terminals along with solar chargers, and ITU will pay for airtime at discounted rates offered by Thuraya and cover the transportation costs of telecommunications equipment to and from disaster-hit areas. ITU will also provide its know-how in technical and operational training for government officials involved in rescue missions.

    In the light of a spate of natural disasters and calamities in recent times, the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-06) meeting in March 2006 called upon ITU to develop ICT-based solutions in emergency telecommunications aimed at improving early-warning communication, disaster preparedness and mitigation.

    The Thuraya terminals, which support voice and data applications and remote location based services via GPS, are expected to help provide vital link via satellite during such times. When regular cellular networks are available, the GSM-enabled Thuraya handsets can automatically switch to the terrestrial network for greater affordability, ITU informed.

    More information on Digital Media Asia, Mumbai at http://www.digitalmediaasia.com/default.asp?ArticleID=16625

    Tuesday, July 11, 2006 10:37:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Monday, July 10, 2006

    The International Telecommunication Union and Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company have concluded an agreement to provide portable satellite terminals to assist countries in disaster mitigation and relief.

    Thuraya, the United Arab Emirates satellite-based company, is contributing handheld satellite terminals along with solar chargers; ITU will pay for airtime at discounted rates offered by Thuraya and cover the transportation costs of telecommunications equipment to and from disaster-hit areas. ITU will also provide its expertise in technical and operational training for government officials involved in rescue missions.

    In the light of a spate of natural disasters and calamities in recent times, the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-06) meeting in Doha in March 2006 called upon ITU to develop ICT-based solutions in emergency telecommunications directed at improving early-warning communication, disaster preparedness and mitigation. This is a critical area of concern especially for countries with fragile economies and special needs, such as least developed countries and small island developing states.

    More information on Relief Web, Switzerland at http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db900SID/KHII-6RL3EN?OpenDocument

    Monday, July 10, 2006 10:35:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

    The International Telecommunication Union and United Arab Emirates' Thuraya Satellite will cooperate to provide portable satellites for disaster relief.

    Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications will be providing handheld satellite terminals as well as solar charges to help countries overcome disasters. ITU, meanwhile, will pay for airtime at discounted rates offered by Thuraya in addition to covering the transport costs of the equipment to and from disaster areas.

    "The tsunami that wreaked havoc in south East Asia, the Kashmir earthquake, the Suriname floods, and the Indonesia earthquake have demonstrated the power of emergency telecommunications in saving lives and coordinating efforts during rescue operations such as the setting up of telemedicine links," said the ITU's chief, Yoshio Utsumi.

    More information on United Press International, USA at http://www.upi.com/Hi-Tech/view.php?StoryID=20060710-010552-9299r

    Monday, July 10, 2006 10:26:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) will hold its forty-ninth session in Vienna, Austria, from 7 to 16 June.

    Topics such as space and water, space and education and the recommendations of the World Summit on the Information Society, will be on the agenda. The Committee will also discuss issues raised in the reports of its two Subcommittees – the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee – on their sessions earlier this year. These include space-system-based disaster management support, space debris, the use of nuclear power sources in outer space, practice of States and international organizations in registering space objects and the definition and delimitation of outer space.

    Space and Water

    The Committee will be briefed on a pilot project in the area of "Space and water". At its session in 2005, the Committee heard a presentation on progress in preparing a pilot project that would apply space applications to the restoration of Lake Chad and the management of water resources in the Lake Chad basin. The representatives of those States involved in the pilot project will brief the Committee on the progress achieved in implementing the project.

    Space and Education

    The Committee will consider "Space and education", and will develop specific, concrete action plans for incorporating outer space into education, enhancing education in space, expanding space tools for education and ensuring that space-based services contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal on access to education. The Committee will also prepare a brief document on the role of space in education, as well as the link between space and education, for transmission to the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

    Recommendations of the World Summit on the Information Society

    The Committee will consider a new agenda item concerning the recommendations of the World Summit on the Information Society. The International Telecommunication Union will brief the Committee on the recommendations of the World Summit and their implementation.

    For more information, go to Space Ref.com at http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=20019

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006 3:45:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
     Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    Wednesday, February 02, 2005 6:34:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |