UN/Austria Symposium 2023 Space for Climate Action: Space Applications and Technologies for Sustainability on Earth

By United Nations





– Organiser: United Nations
– Condition to participate: Registration
– Language: English
– Virtual or in-person: Virtual

Important Dates

Deadline for submission of abstract: 11 June 2023
Deadline for registration to attend in-person: 30 June 2023
Deadline for registration to attend online: 7 September 2023


The 2023 UN/Austria Symposium “Space for climate action: space applications and technologies for sustainability on Earth” will take place from 12 to 14 September in Graz, Austria, as well as online.

This year’s symposium is part of a series to discuss the important contributions of space applications and technologies in tackling the challenges of climate change. The focus of the symposium is to showcase the most recent initiatives, experiences and best practices in mitigating and adapting to climate change and supporting sustainability on Earth. Further to creating awareness of how Member States use space technologies, the symposium will highlight how the space sector is being adapted to reduce its own impact on the climate crisis. The symposium would collect ideas and contributions to define future activities.

To raise awareness of relevant space-related activities, services and cooperation programmes among different user groups, the symposium will gather government officials, the diplomatic community, UN and international agencies, private companies, academia, as well as NGOs.


The UN/Austria Symposium has taken place in Graz, Austria, since 1994. It is an activity of the Programme of Space Applications of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. Since the first symposium entitled “Enhancing Social, Economic and Environmental Security through Space Technology”, more than 3,917 participants have attended the events. They addressed a variety of themes, ranging from security to youth, as well as the use of space for sustainable development, space accessibility, and international cooperation. This year’s symposium will be the 29th edition of this long-standing series.

The symposia series has provided a forum for discussion between the different stakeholder groups of the wider space community, including the diplomatic community, the private sector and academia, as well as UN entities. The main purpose of the symposia remains to enable discussions and learning on the use of space tools and applications, with an interdisciplinary viewpoint, addressing technology development and policymaking.

Since 2020, the symposium engages in a series focusing on using space technologies, data and applications to address the unprecedented challenges posed by climate change, and in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action.


The symposium has the following objectives:

  • To promote the exchange of best practices and solutions to meet the demand and needs of developing countries in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
  • To demonstrate how initiatives based on space applications have been successfully developed and implemented in different countries.
  • To share experiences and explore how space-based services can be used to comply with or support policies about climate action according to national priorities, and how sustainability policies are being applied in the space sector.
  • To present available toolboxes that have already been implemented through case studies or pilot projects at a country level to comply with regulations related to climate action, with the aim of encouraging the adoption of tested tools and approaches.
  • To raise awareness of relevant space-related activities, services and cooperation programmes among different user groups, in particular government officials, the diplomatic community, UN and international agencies as well as NGOs.
  • To report to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space through the Scientific and Technical Sub-committee.


The programme includes:  

  • Keynote presentations: Given by invited speakers.  
  • Sessions: Presenters will make a 15-minutes presentation followed by Q&A with the audience.  
  • Panels: Roundtables during which speakers give short introductory statements, followed by a moderated discussion among speakers and Q&A with the audience.  
  • Pitches: Short presentations introducing specific projects or initiatives in less than 5 minutes.    
  • Posters: Physical poster presentations introducing specific projects or initiatives.   
  • Interactive session: Moderated discussions in small groups to enable members of the audience representing various stakeholder groups to discuss and debate on a specific topic. Each group will synthesize their conclusions for presentation to all in the Plenary.    
  • Social events: Two evening receptions hosted by the Mayor of Graz and the Governor of Styria, as well as a guided tour of Graz.

Before or after the symposium a series of trainings is being planned for participants.
There will also be networking opportunities for participants.
A detailed programme will be released in July 2023.

Dates and Venue

The symposium will be held from 12 to 14 September 2023 in Graz, Austria, as well as online via WebEx or a similar tool. The venue is Technische Universität Graz, Inffeldgasse 12, 8010 Graz, Austria.

Expected Participants

The symposium is aimed at members of the diplomatic community, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations, research and development institutions, policy and decision-makers, senior experts, scientists, engineers and university educators, especially from developing countries.

Representatives from the various permanent missions of United Nations Member States in Vienna will be invited to the symposium, along with representatives from various United Nations agencies and other international organisations, with the aim of promoting dialogue not only between policy-makers but also with the private sector and end-users. Representatives from the space applications industry are also welcome to attend and present their solutions.

The Office for Outer Space Affairs is committed to supporting gender mainstreaming in its programmes and advocates for balanced representation from different perspectives.

Call for Abstracts

When submitting abstracts for this symposium, please note that:

  • Presentation of concrete case studies, pilot projects and lessons learnt are strongly encouraged.
  • Abstracts reporting on activities that have already taken place will be given preference over those primarily focused on theories, concepts and plans for the future.
  • Abstracts covering topics/activities which have been presented at a prior UN/Austria Symposium must state this explicitly and detail both the additional information to be presented and the added value that this represents.

If you would like to give a presentation, please submit the registration form together with an abstract before 11 June 2023. Late submissions will not be considered.

In the application form, please indicate which topic applies to your presentation:

  • Case studies on using space applications for adaptation to the climate crisis, ideally at the country-level in Slovenia, Egypt and/or Brazil;
  • Specific recent innovative use of space applications to mitigate the impact of the climate crisis, in the areas of transport, energy production, or food production; OR
  • Changes in space engineering practices and innovations to reduce the contribution of space activities to the climate crisis, as well as regulatory incentives for their adoption.


Click here to register.

Deadline for submission of abstract: 11 June 2023
Deadline for registration to attend in-person: 30 June 2023
Deadline for registration to attend online: 7 September 2023

Those interested to participate in-person will be selected up to the maximum capacity of the room, based on relevant professional and/or academic experience.

Online participation will be accepted until the maximum technical capacity of the web-based communication platform is reached.  

Registration is free of charge.

Working Methods

Speakers at the symposium are requested to deliver an oral presentation or a demonstration of a tool in-person in Graz, Austria. Presentations via WebEx will be considered only in exceptional cases.

Presentations made at the symposium will be published on the website of the Office for Outer Space Affairs (www.unoosa.org) prior to the symposium to facilitate the engagement of participants.


The working language of the symposium is English.

Financial Support

Within the limited financial resources available, the United Nations may provide funding for individuals selected as speaker and whose nationality is classified as a developing country. Speakers will be selected on a competitive basis, depending on their nationality and relevant professional or educational background. The UN will provide a round-trip air ticket – most economic fare – between the airport of international departure in their home country and Graz and/or hotel room and board expenses for the duration of the symposium. For the list of developing countries, please refer to the annex of the “World Economic Situation and Prospects 2023” report, available at https://desapublications.un.org/publications/world-economic-situation-and-prospects-2023.

Successful applicants will be notified in July 2023.

Health Insurance

Health insurance for each of the selected participants attending in-person is necessary and is the responsibility of the participant or his/her institution or government. UNOOSA will not assume any responsibility for life and health insurance, nor for expenses related to medical treatment or accidents.


The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and Austria are responsible for organising the Symposium. It is supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, the European Space Agency, AUSTROSPACE, the City of Graz, the Province of Styria, Joanneum Research and the Graz University of Technology.


For additional information, please contact  unoosa-events@un.org .