Call for Abstracts: ISDE8 Disasters session

Call for Abstracts for a Special Session on Disasters at ISDE 8

Special Session: Joint CAS-TWAS/GEO Special Session on Digital Earth for Disaster Mitigation

The Special Session will be held in conjunction with the 8th International Symposium on Digital Earth 2013 (ISDE8), Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia 26-29 August 2013 (

Over the past decade, countries across the world - both rich and poor - have witnessed thousands of natural disasters. While developed countries have the technologies and the resources needed to respond and to recover from a major event, the effects of disasters on the environment and the society of less developed countries could be devastating and long lasting. High population densities in risk prone areas, poor infrastructure, and unstable landforms and exposure to severe weather events make developing countries particularly vulnerable to natural hazard.

The scientific community is struggling to better understand the causative processes at the basis of disasters, narrowing down the uncertainty in hazard and risk assessment, while stakeholders and practitioners are working to enhance coordination and to advance technologies able to mitigate the effects of disasters on communities at risk.

In this framework, Earth observation and Digital Earth technology can make a difference to reduce costs and technical efforts required to achieve these challenging goals. Satellite imagery, combined with all available in-situ data, makes it possible to dramatically improve the management of risk in all phases of a disaster (before, during and after).

CAS-TWAS Center of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation (CoE STDM) has been formally established in 2013. The goal of the Center is to provide joint research, education, training, workshop and advisory services opportunities in developing countries, and eventually to enhance scientific and research capacities for disaster mitigation in developing countries through the use of the most advanced space technologies. The Group on Earth observations (GEO) through its 150 partners is working to expand the use of satellite imagery and maps for managing the risks posed by fires, floods, earthquakes and other hazards.

This special session is co-organized by CoE STDM and GEO, and focuses on advanced technologies (e.g., Earth observation and Digital Earth) for Disaster Risk Management in developing countries. The aim of this special session is to bring together experts in this field and to foster exchange of new ideas. Papers on any of the following and related topics can be submitted to the special session:

  • Earth observation and Digital Earth as tools for disaster management
  • Information Systems for Hydro-meteorological Extremes (incl. Floods and Droughts)
  • Geohazards Monitoring, Alert, and Risk Assessment
  • Wildfire risk assessment and forecasting
  • Desertification and land degradation
  • Agricultural disaster
  • Tsunami and typhoon monitoring and Early Warning Systems

Abstract submission:

All individuals involved in research, extension and technology of Earth observation, Digital Earth, and disaster management are strongly encouraged to submit an abstract for consideration as an oral presentation. Abstracts must be submitted electronically to the Co-Chairs and should be 250-500 words in length.

Submission Due: July 26, 2013.

Acceptance Notifications: July 31, 2013

All submissions should be in English.

Financial Support

For early- and mid-career scientists from developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America wishing to increase scientific knowledge of disaster mitigation and space technology, CoE STDM will award travel grants for selected participants presenting their research at this special session. In the event that applicants are found to be approximately equally qualified, female applicants will be given priority.

Dr. Fang Chen, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China,  Email:,
Francesco Gaetani, GEO Secretariat, Switzerland,  E-mail:

No.9 Dengzhuang South Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100094, P.R. China
Tel.: 86-10-82178959
Fax: 86-10-82178959