Increasing Resilience to Emergencies through Earth Observation, Crowdsourcing, and Satellite Navigation Systems



The FLOODIS project is drawing to a close and its final workshop will be held on 2 October 2015 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. It is organized by the Section on Earth Sciences and Geo-Hazards Risk Reduction and the Science Unit of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), in cooperation with the European Commission.

During the workshop, the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB, Italy) will present and demonstrate the solutions offered by the FLOODIS system to an audience of governmental stakeholders and civil protection authorities from Member States and representatives of Directorate Generals of the European Commission. UNESCO and European Union projects providing examples of excellence in Earth Observation, Crowdsourcing, and Satellite Navigation Systems applications will be also presented, and two open sessions will be dedicated to end-users needs and on how to improve resilience to disaster caused by natural hazards.

In line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030), this international workshop aims to bridge the existing gap between innovative space-based solutions and end-users in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction. The lack of information, the inherent complexity of modern tools and their poor interoperability place constraints on the end-users to benefit from the utilization of innovative solutions.

The workshop will evoke core concepts at the basis of the European Civil Protection Forum 2015, Partnership for Innovation, as set out by Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, who highlighted the importance of interfacing emergency responders and the science/research communities. UNESCO’s role in enhancing the capacity of its Member States in Disaster Risk Reduction through the use of technological innovation and science is fully in line with this strategic vision. It entails meaningful action and a well-devised, innovative mobilisation of citizens and volunteers, through the use of an integrated system, encompassing social media and crowdsourcing approaches.

The workshop reflects the spirit of the memorandum of understanding between UNESCO and the European Commission, which sets out clear strategic priorities and encourages further dialogue between the two organisations on areas of shared interest. The agreement builds on a longstanding collaboration related to UNESCO’s core mandate: education, the sciences, and culture.

FLOODIS (Integrating GMES Emergency Services with satellite navigation and communication for establishing a flood information service) is a collaborative European Union project led by ISMB in Turin and funded under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-SPACE-2013-1) to provide a flood information service aimed at better addressing and mitigating crisis situations arising before, during and after heavy flooding.

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Davide Poletto, Project Officer, Science Unit, UNESCO Office in Venice
Tel:  + 39 041 260 15 26   d.poletto(at)

Alexandros Makarigakis, Programme Specialist
Section on Earth Sciences and Geo-Hazards Risk Reduction,
Natural Sciences Sector, UNESCO Paris
Tel: + 33 1 45 68 41 78     a.makarigakis(at)