Fifth International Conference on Space Technology for Water Management

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Rationale and context

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Government of Ghana are jointly organizing a Conference with the support of the Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water (PSIPW) to promote the use of space technology in water management to the benefit of developing countries.

The Conference will hold in Accra, Ghana, from 10- 13 May 2022. Furthermore, the University of Energy and Natural Resources on behalf of the Government of Ghana will host it. The Conference is the fifth international event focusing on applications of space technology for water in the series of conferences organised with financial assistance of the PSIPW and the Inter-Islamic Network on Space Sciences and Technology (ISNET).

Conference objectives

  1. Expand the use of space technologies and space-based data for better water resource management;
    • What space-based data is available to report on SDG 6 targets and indicators or other SDG targets which have a water nexus? Which space-based data sources have not been exhausted/used so far to support SDG reporting?
    • What methods and models are used, which ones can be applied to report SDG 6 indicators? What are the lessons learnt from SDG 6.6.1 which is already reported based on satellite data; and
    • What additional tools are required to deliver the data?
  2. Foster knowledge exchange between actors in the space sector and actors in the water management/water research sector as well as the establishment of partnerships;
    • Help create partnerships (SDG 17) based on identified needs and solutions. Detect priority areas where pilot projects could be proposed and possible partnerships established.
  3. Identify user needs
    • Identify needs of public entities and academia, civil society organizations, (e.g. data, capacity building, tools, policy, etc.) and match needs and solutions for sustainable water management; and
    • Identify user needs for the Space4Water Portal (potentially also assess usability with volunteers).
  4. Demonstrate possible solutions (by technology providers via demo sessions).

Finally, the organisers seek to encourage specific regional contributions from Sub-Saharan Africa.

Expected outcomes

The expected outcome of the workshop is to make observations and converge on recommendations for the Groundwater Summit which will take place later in 2022, as well as for the 2023 Midterm Review of the Water Action Decade. Round table discussions on water-related extremes, water quality and health, groundwater as well as capacity building and gaps assessment. The Office for Outer Space Affairs will report to the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on conclusions of the conference and recommendations.

Participants

The Conference is tentatively a hybrid event with a maximum number of 100-150 participants in Accra. Participants include decision-makers, technical experts, researchers and educators drawn from the following groups: international, regional, national and local institutions, academic institutions, multi-lateral and bi-lateral development agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and also from private industry. The organisers invite experts and professionals from both space-related entities and water resource management institutions. This subsequently provides an opportunity to exchange experiences and strengthen networks and partnerships. This will consequently contribute to the better use of space technology-based solutions for water resources management.

The Office of Outer Space Affairs strives to support gender mainstreaming in its programmes. Furthermore, it commits to ensuring an equal representation from different perspectives. Thus, the Office encourages applications from female applicants.

Financial support

Within the limited financial resources available, a limited number of selected participants will receive financial support to attend the Conference. This financial support will defray the cost of travel (a round trip air-ticket – most economic fare – between the airport of international departure in their home country and Accra) and/or the room and board expenses for the duration of the Conference.
Financial support from the United Nations will only be for individuals the organisers select as speakers and are presently living in a developing country. For the list of developing countries, please refer to the annexe of the “World Economic Situation and Prospects 2020” report, available here.

The organisers will select participants on a competitive basis. This will depend on their place of origin and relevant professional or educational background. Successful applicants will receive notification of the outcome within two weeks after the deadline to apply for financial support.

Deadline for submission of applications

Interested persons are to submit complete applications and abstracts to the Office for Outer Space Affairs through the online registration page. Applicants should also ensure that their government/institution properly endorses their complete application. Furthermore, the applicants should submit the applications to the UNOOSA promptly, but no later than 25 February 2022. This is more necessary if the applicant is seeking funding support. interested persons can subsequently access the online application form through this link.

Interested persons should register to attend the event in Accra no later than 31 March 2022. Consequently, the successful persons will receive information regarding the success shortly afterwards. However, the deadline for registration for online participants are is 30 April 2022.

You can get more information regarding the conference here.

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