The International Charter on Space and Major Disasters is a voluntary partnership among national space agencies that provide free satellite earth observation data and information to disaster-affected States. As a nonbinding, multilateral instrument, the Charter has grown in its members, reach and application over its seventeen-year lifespan. To date, the Charter has been activated over 550 times and has provided data to 119 countries. This article provides a discussion on the current legal status of the Charter and the effectiveness of the Charter as a global governance mechanism in light of its mandate and ongoing operations. The article draws from previous reports and scholarship on the Charter, data collected through semi-structured interviews with Charter members and users, and the results from a survey distributed to Charter end users which aimed to gather information relating to the users' experience accessing and using Charter products, as well as information relating to the extent to which the Charter contributions improved the end users' existing disaster management capabilities. Overall the article finds that as a soft law instrument and governance tool, the Charter has been highly effective in both a legal and operational context and may provide a useful example for international cooperation in other global policy areas.
|Number of pages||35|
|Journal||Air and Space Law|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|