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Natural Disasters

Volume 477: debated on Monday 16 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what meetings he has held with representatives of the space industry on the development of earth observation satellites to undertake monitoring work on global weather patterns to reduce the impact of natural disasters in the last 12 months. (209769)

Although I have not held a meeting specifically to discuss the use of satellites in monitoring global weather patterns, I did meet representatives of UKSpace in June last year to discuss the benefits of space technology to development more widely. Department for International Development (DFID) officials have also met representatives of the space industry more than once over the past year. In October 2007 DFID hosted a “Space for Development” seminar, which included representatives from the British National Space Centre and the space industry.

DFID makes full use of UNOSAT, the UN programme which provides the international community with access to satellite imagery for use both in humanitarian relief and disaster prevention.