The International Charter Space & Major Disaster: the Contribution of Space Technologies to Risk Management Authorities and Humanitarian Aid Actors
Bally, Philippe1; Luettenberg, Hans-Peter2; Danzeglocke, Jens2

Much of the focus of the practitioners of Satellite in disaster risk management is currently on the response phase, during which rapid actions can save lives. Satellite EO is a recognized solution for enabling more efficient relief actions and supporting aid actors with objective and up to date information. Globally the main mechanism to exploit space technology for response is the International Charter Space and Major Disaster (, an international collaboration among Space Agencies to provide a unified system to access imagery for disaster response. With 14 members today the International Charter is able to provide rapid access to data from a virtual constellation of a series of satellites, optical and SAR, tasked in rush mode to help disaster management centres in relief actions. This activity is focused on hazards with rapid on-set scenarios, on the hazard impact, and aims to service operational users, not science users. In practice, this means that raw data are provided to "value adding providers", who then create products that are of practical use to response teams on the ground e.g., flood extent maps, building infrastructure damage extent maps, oil spill extent maps, etc.). 14 years after the signing by its founders the Charter has 14 members and has delivered EO services over 365 times in 110+ countries world-wide.