Charter website will assist rescue operations

January 22, 2002

Paris, 21 January 2002

A new website was announced at last Tuesday’s evaluation meeting of the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters. This will further improve the services offered to users by the signatories of the Charter.

The International Charter has been in force since 1 November 2000 and aims to put space technology at the service of rescue authorities in the event of major disasters. To date the Charter has been activated to deal with floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, oil spills and earthquakes in all corners of the globe.

Current members of the Charter are the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the French Space Agency (CNES), the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the European Space Agency.

As well as information about the Charter, its members and the resources available, the new website, www.disasterscharter.org , contains guidelines on the procedure to be followed by rescue and civil defence organisations when requesting data to help in their rescue operations.

Said Jérôme Béquignon, ESA member of the International Charter’s Executive Secretariat, "this website is an important step forward in promoting the Charter and the results obtained and in assisting rescue teams during real emergencies".

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