Web-based Task Sheets:

Older Work Sheets (August 2009):

The GEOSS Strategic Target for the Disaster SBA

Strategic Target for the DISASTER SBA: Enable the global coordination of observing and information systems to support all phases of the risk management cycle associated with hazards (mitigation and preparedness, early warning, response, and recovery).

This will be achieved through:

  • more timely dissemination of information from globally-coordinated systems for monitoring, predicting, risk assessment, early warning, mitigating, and responding to hazards at local, national, regional, and global levels;
  • development of multi-hazard and/or end-to-end approaches, as appropriate to meet the needs for disaster risk reduction, preparedness and response in relevant hazard environments;
  • supporting the implementation of the priorities for action identified in the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015: Building the resilience of nations and communities to disasters (HFA).
The GHCP: Supporting the Implementation of the GEO Work Plan

The GHCP aims to contribute to the GEO Work Plan in several ways, one being the direct contributions to GEO Work Plan Tasks. The GHCP also organizes workshops in order to relate to end users depending on information on geohazards and through these workshops to inform GEO about user needs.

The Strategic Target of the GHCP

The Strategic Target of the GHCP is defined in the Road Map:

By 2020 put in place all building blocks for comprehensive monitoring of geohazards and the provision of timely information on spatio-temporal characteristics, risks, and occurrence of geohazards, in support of all phases of the risk management cycle (mitigation and preparedness, early warning, response, and recovery), and as a basis for increased resilience and disaster reduction.

This will be achieved
by developing a global network of very few carefully selected core sites. These core sites will provide focal points for a large geographical region, where all building blocks of a value chain from observations to end users can be linked together and applied to the phases of the risk management cycle relevant for this region. Thus, these core sites will demonstrate the concept, enable scientific studies and technological developments, provide for capacity building, and inform policy and decision making in the region.

Disasters in the GEO Work Plan

The GEO Work Plan 2012-2015 (pdf) includes the Task DI-01 “Informing Risk Management and Disaster Reduction” which addresses disasters. This Task includes many activities related to geohazards. Task implementation is supported by the GHCP and Coastal Zone Community of Practice (CZCP).

Related GEOSS Strategic Targets (from GEO-VI Document 12 Rev1)

Disasters: Improved use of observations and related information to inform policies, decisions and actions associated with disaster preparedness and mitigation. More effective access to observations and related information to facilitate warning, response and recovery to disasters. Increased communication and coordination between national, regional and global communities in support of disaster risk reduction, including clarification of roles and responsibilities and improved resources management. Improved national response to natural and man-made disasters through delivery of space-based data, resulting from strengthened International Charter on Space and Major Disasters. Support to the successful implementation of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015.


Improve disaster risk management and reduction by providing timely information relevant to the full cycle of disaster management (mitigation, preparedness, warning, response and recovery). Adopt a multi-hazard end-to-end approach to ensure that relevant Earth observations and information effectively reach decision-makers and the public. Focus on four main areas: (1) Provide support to operational systems; (2) Enable and inform risk and vulnerability analyses; (3) Conduct regional endto- end pilots with a focus on building institutional relationships; and (4) Conduct gap analyses in order to identify missing data, system gaps, and capacity gaps.


C1 Disaster Management Systems

China (Beijing Normal University), EC (GMES), Nigeria (NASRDA), South Africa (CSIR), USA (NASA), CEOS, ESA, UNITAR, UNOOSA

Priority Actions

  • Improve access to information produced through key disaster management mechanisms such as the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters, Sentinel Asia, GMES Emergency Management Services, and SERVIR
  • Promote quick and easy access to in-situ data and reference maps required in case of emergency. Integrate baseline geographic information and reference maps with real-time data from satellite or in-situ platforms into online Graphical User Interface and Decision Support System tools
  • Make information related to environmental risk and vulnerability easily accessible to a wide range of decision-makers through a centralized platform. Build upon the South African Atlas (based on a spatial database system and a repository of global-change related information) and the Chinese disaster assessment system (based on Geographic Information Systems)The Task has five components:
  • Enhance the use of satellite data for disaster management, based on lessons-learned and experience from countries and organizations, and develop best practice guidelines for technical and procedural cooperation in satellite-based emergency mapping
  • Review global and regional disaster risk management systems. Perform a gap analysis considering data, metadata, systems, and capacity (building upon existing analyses)

C2 Geohazards Monitoring, Alert, and Risk Assessment

China (Beijing Normal University, CAS, CEA, CMA), Italy (EUCENTRE, fabio.dellacqua@eucentre.it), Nigeria (NASRDA), South Africa (CGS), USA (University of Miami, USGS), CEOS, EPOS, ESA, FDSN, IEEE

Priority Actions

  • Apply a fully integrated approach to geohazards monitoring, based on collaboration among existing networks and international initiatives, using new instrumentation such as in-situ sensors, and aggregating space (radar, optical imagery) and ground-based (subsurface) observations. Develop open comprehensive natural-hazards datasets, initially focusing on selected targets (e.g. Supersites)
  • Support the establishment of Supersites and Natural Laboratories. Provide an electronic infrastructure allowing easy access to data (space & in-situ) and a wide range of tools, and a platform for on-line collaboration. Develop a consolidated Supersites Strategic Plan (covering space, ground, infrastructure meta-data, processing and data dissemination)
  • Enhance global earthquake monitoring, alert, and damage assessment. Improve the global and regional coordination of seismographic networks. Enable rapid data access to waveform data for early warning, rapid shaking assessment and rapid damage assessment
  • Support global earthquake risk assessment. Improve global standards and establish regional programs for hazard and risk assessment in a global framework. Support the implementation of the Global Earthquake Model initiative (GEM)
  • Develop large-area vulnerability modeling and mapping using novel algorithms and methodologies based on Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and optical satellite data

C3 Tsunami Early Warning and Hazard Assessment

China (Beijing Normal University, CEA, SOA), EC (GMES), Germany (DLR, GFZ, lau@gfzpotsdam. de), IOC

Priority Actions

  • Support tsunami early warning. Establish an inventory of relevant systems such as the German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System (GITEWS) and the European Tsunami Alerting Device (TAD)
  • Promote real-time data sharing in particular seismic and sea-level (deep-ocean and tide-gauge data). Standardize procedures, terminology, communication and evacuation practices. Optimize tsunami evacuation plans through the use of damage scenarios and traffic flow models
  • Support tsunami hazards assessment. Enable and develop a global tsunami hazard map through provision of bathymetry and topography data

C4 Global Wildland Fire Information System

Canada (CFS), China (Beijing Normal University), EC (JRC), Germany (GFMC), South Africa (CSIR), USA (NOAA, USDA), FAO, GTOS (GOFC-GOLD, bill.degroot@nrcan.gc.ca)

Priority Actions

  • Support the establishment of an operational Global Wildland Fire Early Warning System (GWFEWS). Assess and realize the potential contributions of existing regional systems e.g. EFFIS (European Forest Fire Information System), CFFDRS (Canadian Forest Fire Danger Rating System), and AFIS (Africa Fire Information System)
  • Improve fire management cooperation and regional coordination with local systems. Produce common global fire danger metrics. Conduct regional inter-calibration of Fire Danger Indices (FDIs) within GWFEWS
  • Support and promote the use of satellite data for wildfire risk assessment (near real-time, rapid refresh hot-spot detection) and damage assessment (burn scar mapping)
  • Develop longer-term predictions of fire-danger based on advanced numerical weather models (in coordination with WE-01)
  • Expand fire-danger rating systems to countries that do not have the financial nor institutional capacity to develop their own system

C5 Regional End-to-End Pilots

Canada (CSA, guy.seguin@asc-csa.gc.ca), USA (NASA, USAID), CEOS, IEEE

Priority Actions

  • Implement regional and cross-cutting end-to-end projects. Develop natural-risk decision-support tools and applications supporting the full cycle of disaster management, especially for developing countries. Support the implementation of the GEO Caribbean Satellite Disaster Pilots and Sensor Web applications in Namibia.
  • Identify locations for tandem centers of excellence in developed and developing regions, and initiate the formation of these centers

To Be Implemented in Connection with
SB-01 Oceans and Society: Blue Planet
SB-04 Global Urban Observation and Information
HE-01 Tools and Information for Health Decision Making
CL-01 Climate Information for Adaptation
WA-01 Integrated Water Information
WE-01 High-Impact Weather Prediction
AG-01 Global Agricultural Monitoring and Early Warning
All “Infrastructure” and “Institutions and Development” Tasks

Resources Available for Implementation (tentative and preliminary)

  • ESA-funded review for improving access to the International Charter Space and Major Disasters in Africa
  • In-kind contributions in support of the Supersites initiative from ESA, UNAVCO, USA (University of Miami), and several space agencies
  • Caribbean Satellite Disaster Pilot and Namibia Flood project co-funded by Canada (CSA), USA (NASA), CEOS and others
  • Related activities of the Chinese Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management (http://adrem.org.cn/). GIS-based disaster assessment system covering earthquake, flood, landslide, debris flow, forest fire, and tsunami
  • SERVIR regional visualization and monitoring system (http://www.servir.net) supported by USA (NASA, USAID)
  • EC(GMES) Emergency Management Service (www.emergencyresponse.eu/gmes/en/ref/home.html)
  • Sentinel Asia Geographic Information System catalogue maintained by Japan (JAXA) (https://sentinel.tksc.jaxa.jp/sentinel2/topControl.action)
  • Satellite constellations committed to provide data through the International Charter in case of major disasters
  • International Charter Space metadata catalogue maintained by France (CNES) (http://www.disasterschartercatalog.org)
  • South African Risk and Vulnerability Atlas (SARVA) (http://www.rvatlas.org)
  • Supersites Web Portal (http://supersites.earthobservations.org) including ESA’s Virtual Archive cloud infrastructure
  • Global Seismographic Network (GSN; http://www.iris.edu/hq/programs/gsn)
  • Global Earthquake Model (GEM) facility (http://www.globalquakemodel.org/model-facility), including the GEM’s risk assessment platform (OpenGEM) and the OpenQuake software
  • Sensor network of German Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System, including ocean bottom units, buoys and tide gauges
  • Global Fire Danger Forecast Web Portal (www.fire.uni-freiburg.de/gwfews/forecast_ews.html)
  • Global Fire Information Management System (GFIMS, http://www.fao.org/nr/gfims/gf-home/en/)
  • Caribbean regional platform for sharing geospatial data and maps relevant to atmospheric risk, supported by Italy (CIMH)
  • Namibia flood sensor-web portal (http://geobpms.geobliki.com/namibia)

The GEO Work Plan 2009-2011 (Version 20091119) includes a number of Tasks that would benefit from support by the GHCP. In fact, a number of Tasks list the GHCP as Task Team supporter. These Tasks include:

  • Task DI-06-09 Use of Satellites for Risk Management;
  • Task DI-09-01 Systematic Monitoring for Geohazards Risk Assessment; for this task, the following Sub-Tasks are supported by the GHCP:
    • Sub-Tasks of DI-09-01 Systematic Monitoring for Geohazards Risk Assessment;
    • DI-09-01a Vulnerability Mapping and Risk Assessment (former DI-06-03 and DI-06-07);
    • DI-09-01b Seismographic Networks Improvement and Coordination (former DI-06-02);
  • Task DI-09-02 Multi-Risk Management and Regional Applications; for this task, the following Sub-Tasks are supported by the GHCP:
    • DI-09-02a Implementation of a Multi-Risk Management Approach (former DI-06-08);
    • DI-09-02b Regional End-to-End Disaster Management Applications (former DI-07-01);
  • Task DI-09-03 Warning Systems for Disasters; for this task, the following Sub-Task is supported by the GHCP:
    • DI-09-03a Tsunami Early Warning System of Systems (former DI-06-04).

Last edited 02 December 2016