Banda Aceh-The Value of Earth Observation Data in Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction: A Case Study

McCallum, I. ORCID:, Kidd, R., Fritz, S. ORCID:, Kraxner, F., & Obersteiner, M. ORCID: (2008). Banda Aceh-The Value of Earth Observation Data in Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction: A Case Study. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-08-048

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On 26 December 2004, Banda Aceh in Indonesia was at the center of one of the worst natural disasters to affect mankind. Large amounts of international aid poured in to assist in the relief and reconstruction efforts. Amongst this effort, were investments in basic earth observation data from in-situ, airborne and space observations. While the use of this data is assumed to be crucial, few efforts have gone into quantifying the benefits of its acquisition.

The objectives of this study were to interview a cross-section of agencies operating in Banda Aceh and across the province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam on the use, sources and quality of earth observation data in the relief/reconstruction effort; and to analyze and quantify the value that earth observation data brings to the relief/reconstruction effort based on the survey results and specific examples.

Key findings from the interviews point to an overall improvement in the spatial data situation since the tsunami. Problems identified included insufficient training, lack of timely data and sometimes poor spatial resolution. Specific examples of the cost-benefits of earth observation data were typically on the order of millions of dollars and involved large time savings.

IIASA is one of 12 partners in the European Union sponsored project "Global Earth Observation/Benefit Estimation: Now, Next and Emerging" (GEO-BENE). Additional GEO-BENE partner countries include Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Netherlands, Finland, South Africa and Japan. Within GEO-BENE we are developing methodologies and analytical tools to assess societal benefits of GEO in nine societal benefit areas- one of which is disasters. The tsunami affected province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, and specifically Banda Aceh, has been selected as a case study. Other case studies representing different societal benefit areas include: biodiversity in South Africa, health and climate in Finland, fire in Europe, etc. For more information please refer to:

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Forestry (FOR)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:41
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 05:00

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