Paris, October 20, 2000 – Building on a commitment made at the third United
Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
(Unispace III), yesterday, Mac Evans, President of the Canadian Space Agency
(CSA) joined Antonio Rodotà, Director General of the European Space Agency
(ESA) and Gérard Brachet, Director General of the French Space Agency (CNES)
in the signing of the Charter on Disaster Management at the ESA Headquarters
in Paris.

“The Charter on Disaster Management”, said Mac Evans, President of the
Canadian Space Agency, ” is a far-reaching humanitarian initiative that will
lead to the coordination and global positioning of space resources, such as
Canada’s renowned RADARSAT-1, providing timely and critical imaging to
agencies directing rescue and relief efforts in times of natural and
technological disasters”

“Cooperation with Canada”, said Antonio Rodotà, ESA Director General “is
allowing us to draw on our collective strengths, knowledge and expertise, to
pilot leading-edge research, technology and space-based initiatives that
have the potential to make a positive impact on the lives of all our

The objectives of the Charter are to strengthen international cooperation by
opening membership to all satellite operators around the world and to foster
the development of a coordinated global response to requests for assistance
from rescue and relief organizations. The Canadian Space Agency will deploy
its RADARSAT-1 Earth Observation satellite, which has the ability,
day-or-night, to pierce through the clouds capturing the high quality images
required by relief agencies and organizations providing disaster assistance
on the ground.

In the coming months, the Charter signatories will develop principles and
operational procedures and actively promote the Disaster Management service
to ensure urgent requests for satellite imaging are met with an efficient
and effective response.


Earth Observation has been a cornerstone of the Canadian Space Program since
the very beginning. Launched in November 1995, RADARSAT-1 has collected
nearly 100,000 images providing an historical record of the Earth’s
environment. Demonstrating its ability to provide timely and critical data
to assist disaster relief and emergency rescue efforts, as well as, for
renewable and non-renewable resource mapping, RADARSAT-1 has also proven its
worth to scientists and commercial users in the fields of agriculture,
cartography, hydrology, forestry, oceanography, ice studies, mineral and oil
exploration. In cooperation with RADARSAT International and other partners,
RADARSAT-1 has already produced mosaics of Antarctica, Canada, and most
recently the United States, with the mapping of Africa expected to be
completed in 2001.

RADARSAT-2, Canada’s next generation Earth Observation satellite, currently
under construction by MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates and scheduled for
launch in early 2003, will further increase Canada’s ability to provide
precise imaging to meet the evolving needs of clients while fulfilling its
Charter commitment to relief agencies and disaster management organizations.

About the Canadian Space Agency

Established in 1989, with its headquarters located in Saint Hubert, Quebec,
the Canadian Space Agency ensures that Canadians in all regions learn and
benefit from the development and application of space knowledge, science and
technology. The Canadian Space Agency supports and promotes a highly
competitive space industry, contributes to the sustainable development of
Canada and the world, and fosters initiatives to increase awareness of the
Canadian Space Program throughout the world.

With almost half of Canada’s GDP growth in the knowledge-intensive sectors
of the economy, the Canadian Space Program is a key driver behind continued
leadership on the world stage. Based on extensive and open consultation with
Canadian stakeholders, opportunities were identified for potential
cooperation with international partners in the areas of: Earth Observation,
Space Science, Human Presence in Space, Satellite Communications and in the
development of Generic Space Technologies. Canadian participation in these
key sectors are providing new opportunities for industry and scientists, and
long-term social and economic benefits for all Canadians.

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For more information:

Anna Kapiniari

Manager, Public relation and media

Canadian Space Agency

Tel.: (450) 926-4350