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Climate Action 2009-2010

TECHNOLOGY ICTs 102

TECHNOLOGY ICTs 102 Satellite communications can make a critical difference during the first crucial hours and days after a disaster. They are employed to assess the extent of damage, help locate survivors, measure the potential danger for rescue teams and ensure that humanitarian response crews can communicate effectively with their team members, other agencies, local hospitals and paramedics. In addition to developing regulatory and technical standards for disaster prediction and detection, early warning and emergency telecommunication systems, ITU has provided equipment and facilities for emergency communications following floods, earthquakes and other natural disasters to affected countries. For example, in May 2008 satellite terminals were sent to help relief operations in two areas: Myanmar, hit by a devastating cyclone, and Sichuan Province in China, which experienced a major earthquake. ITU COMMITTED TO SEAL THE DEAL IN COPENHAGEN ITU is pioneering the use of ICTs to reduce emissions through paperless meetings and offices, virtual conferencing and teleworking, as well as sharing its expertise with other institutions in optimising the use of ICTs as a vital component of energy-efficient work methods. A new initiative is also being undertaken to raise public awareness and illustrate the impacts of climate change and the relevance of work in the field of ICTs to address this issue. By pioneering the use of remote participation tools in its own work and lending that expertise to others, ITU serves as a model for the UN system and also assists in bridging the standardisation gap. “ ICTs can more than compensate for their own adverse effects and make a substantial net contribution to combating climate change and its consequences “ ITU joins efforts of the UN system, which brings together the system’s expertise and ongoing work in diverse areas – ranging from science and technology to agriculture, transport, forestry, and reduction of disaster risks – aimed at tackling climate change. In 2000, UN member states adopted the Millennium Declaration as a renewed commitment to human development, including the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). However, the impact of climate change will tend to offset progress being made to meet the MDGs by 2015. It is therefore crucial to empower developing countries to access the ICTs needed to adapt to climate change and reduce their vulnerability to natural disasters. ITU and its members are committed as partners to all stakeholders to making ICTs a critical tool and enabling technology to successfully combat climate change and will continue to actively participate in the negotiations aimed at sealing the deal in Copenhagen in December 2009. ICT Kiosk The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is contributing a special programme of daily high-level business talks by leaders in the ICT sector. The high-level business talks are part of the UNFCCC exhibition “iSeeT@theKiosk” which will be held at COP 15 Copenhagen, 7-18 December 2009 and will show how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are helping to increase awareness and support concrete action on climate change in both developing and developed countries. Author Dr Hamadoun Touré is Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, the specialized UN agency for telecommunications and ICT. Organisation The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology issues, and the global focal point for governments and the private sector in developing networks and services. For nearly 145 years, ITU has co-ordinated the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promoted international co-operation in assigning satellite orbits, worked to improve telecommunication infrastructure in the developing world, established the worldwide standards that foster seamless interconnection of a vast range of communications systems and addressed the global challenges of our times, such as mitigating climate change and strengthening cybersecurity. ITU also organises worldwide and regional exhibitions and forums, such as ITU Telecom World, bringing together the most influential representatives of government and the telecommunications and ICT industry to exchange ideas, knowledge and technology for the benefit of the global community, and in particular the developing world. Enquiries International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Place des Nations 1211 Geneva 20 Switzerland Tel: +41 22 730 5111 | Fax: +41 22 733 7256 Email: itumail@itu.int | Website: www.itu.int V I S I T : WWW.C L I M AT E A C TIO NPROGRAMME.ORG

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