Science and Society

UNOSAT at CERN โ€“ 15 years of satellite imagery support to the humanitarian and development community

by Einar Bjorgo (unitar (CH))

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium (CERN)

500/1-001 - Main Auditorium


Show room on map


UNOSAT is part of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and has been hosted at CERN since 2001. This partnership allows UNOSAT to benefit from CERN's IT infrastructure whenever the situation requires, allowing the UN to be at the forefront of satellite-analysis technology. Specialists in geographic information systems (GIS) and in the analysis of satellite data, supported by IT engineers and policy experts, ensure a dedicated service to the international humanitarian and development communities 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The presentation will give an overview of the variety of activities carried out by UNOSAT over the last 15 years including support to humanitarian assistance and protection of cultural heritage, sustainable water management in Chad and training & capacity development in East Africa and Asia.

The talk will be followed at 12:00 by the inauguration of the UNOSAT exhibition, in front of the Users' office.


Einar Bjorgo is Manager of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), a function he took on in 2013. Since 1999 he holds a PhD in Geophysics from the University of Bergen, Norway, with focus on humanitarian applications of very high resolution satellite imagery. He has a Master of Science in Meteorology (Climate Science) and a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California San Diego. Einar Bjorgo joined the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1999 working on integrating new technological solutions into its operations, with special focus on use of satellite imagery. In 2002 he joined UNOSAT, and has in this capacity ensured satellite image analysis is made timely available in support to humanitarian relief, sustainable development, environment, climate services, peace & security, human rights and international law. Through UNOSAT knowledge-transfer mechanisms he also supports beneficiaries from UN Member States, regional organizations, sister agencies and NGOs with training and capacity development on geo-spatial technologies.

Organized by

CERN IT department

There is a live webcast for this event