Workshop on the Use of Space Science and Technology for the Prevention of and Response to Disasters in Mesoamerica

19th - 22th November 2013, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: Tuesday, 12 November 2013


Of disasters that affect countries in Mesoamerica, flooding has by far the greatest impact on their economic and social development. In the case of hurricanes, it is not unusual for the entire territories of small countries to be covered by high velocity winds and heavy rainfall. When this happens, it becomes very difficult to implement effectively response plans. The economic loses are often in the billions of U.S. dollars and the social impact results in thousands of people being displaced from their homes.

Earth Observation data, from meteorological and low-Earth orbiting satellites has been successfully used in a variety of ways to reduce the impact of extreme weather events and to facilitate civil protection activities following flooding events. The keys to benefitting from the experiences acquired are: awareness of what can be done, access to the satellite data and having the scientific and technical capacity to correctly use the data.


The Workshop is being organized by the Regional Centre for Space Science Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRECTEALC), the Mesoamerican Centre for Theoretical Physics (MCTP), the Association of Institutions for Fostering Mexican Space Sciences (AIFOCEM). the Secure World Foundation (SWF), and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration as co-chair of the CEOS Working Group on Capacity Building and Data Democracy (WGCapD).

Goals and objectives

The Workshop will present case studies that illustrate the use of EO images for disaster reduction. Presentations will include the work carried out and resources that have been made available by the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and the capacity building and resources availability that is being organized and made available for Latin America under the EOPOWER project of the European Commission. The Workshop will include a practical exercise on downloading satellite data, locating cartographic for the demonstration area and integrating all data in a database. Results from the exercise will be presented to decision-makers and the deans of Universities comprising AIFOCEM.


Participants will be technical personnel Mesoamerican countries involved in the acquisition of data and information related to risk evaluation and identifying vulnerabilities of flood prone areas or responsible for civil protection actions. Familiarity with remote sensing and the use of geographical information systems will be an asset for candidates to be invited. Other participants will be decision-makers from national or regional prevention and national civil protection institutions as well as deans of universities or their high-level representatives. Simultaneous interpretation between English and Spanish will be provided for presentations and discussion.

Funding support

Within their limited financial resources, the organizers will provide funding support for travel and/or lodging accommodation of a limited number of participants. Candidates for financial support should complete the Application form (available on under the "Application" tab) and send by email to


The On-line Application form can be downloaded here.
Note: Once completed, this application form should be scanned and sent to the Mexico Campus of CRECTEALC latest by 12 November 2013 to email: with a copy to and


Camacho Sergio, CRECTEALC
Enríquez Rogerio, CRECTEALC/INAOE
González Jesús A., CRECTEALC/INAOE
Gutiérrez, Celso, CRECTEALC/INAOE
Madry, Scott, University of North Carolina
Rodríguez, Ponciano, INAOE
Sánchez, Mayeli, Colectivo Acción Directa Autogestiva A.C.
Santos, Eli, MCTP
Schmidt, Michael, CONABIO TBD
Smith, Brent, CEOS
Sutherlun, Jacob, NOAA/WGCapD
Villagrán, Juan Carlos, United Nations SPIDER TBD
Williamson, Ray, Secure World Foundation
Invited speakers from Central American countries
Invited speakers from CATHALAC
Invited Speakers from CEPREDANAC
Invited Speakers from CENAPRED
Invited Speakers from Protección Civil

Topics include

Case histories - development and landfall of hurricanes; Information used for disaster reduction activities; Civil protection response to flooding - essential information needed; Use of geographical information systems for disaster reduction and response; Use of LEO and GEO Earth Observation images in prevention, reduction and response to flooding disasters; Use of meteorological data by indigenous communities for disaster prevention; the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS); Data, case histories, best practices, lessons learnt resources available from GEOSS; CEOS Disaster Risk Management Team's pilot projects on disasters; Aims and achievements of the CEOS Working Group on Capacity Building and Data Democracy (WGCapD); Disaster-related activities of CATHALAC, The SERVIR Mesoamerican programme; The EOPOWER project of the European Commission; International data policies and the need for national data policies and legislation.

UNACH/MCTP, Ciudad Universitaria
Carretera Emiliano Zapata Km. 4,
Real del Bosque (Terán).
Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, México.
C. P. 29050
Teléfono 52 (961) 617-80-00
Ext. 8200 y 1380
© 2013 MCTP
Desarrollado por MCTP