Following the UNISPACE III conference held in Vienna, Austria in July 1999, the European and French space agencies (ESA and CNES) initiated the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) signing the Charter on October 20, 2000. The International Charter was declared formally operational on 1 November 2000. In September of 2001, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) also became members of the Charter. The Argentine Space Agency (CONAE) became a member in July 2003. An authorized user can now call a single number to request the mobilization of the space and associated ground resources (RADARSAT, ERS, SPOT) of the three agencies to obtain data and information on a disaster occurrence. A 24-hour on-duty operator receives the call and helps the user put together the preliminary information. Website of the Charter:
Assistance through the UN Outer Office for Space Affairs (UNOOSA)
As a Cooperating Body to the Charter UNOOSA can request imagery on behalf of the UN system to deal with emergency response. If you are part of the UN system and have a need for imagery to deal with disasters or would be interested in receiving more information please send an email to
In case of fire emergencies, the Global Fire Monitoring Center is available to support the acquisition of satellite data for non-authorized countries through the Focal Point Germany. Please use the GFMC Emergency Hotlines.