10th Anniversary of the International Charter “Space and Major Disasters”October 19, 2010 at 9:50 am | Posted in Space Law Current Events | Leave a comment
by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty
On Tuesday October 19, ESA, CNES and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of this Charter, which has been joined by a further seven space agencies worldwide and activated on average more than twice a month since its creation.
The principle underlying the Charter is that images and data acquired by Earth observation satellites should be made available without charge to the authorities responsible for organising relief operations in disaster areas, via a unified and coordinated system of image acquisition and delivery, wherever in the world the affected region is located.
Between its operational startup in November 2000 and 19 October 2010, the Charter has been activated 280 times, and already 39 times since the beginning of 2010, notably for the earthquake in Haiti in January. It is used throughout the world to monitor natural disasters, mainly those linked to meteorological, seismic and volcanic phenomena. It demonstrates the contribution that space systems can make to crisis management, making the work of the rescue teams on the ground easier.