Inter- Islamic Network for Space Sciences and Technology (ISNET)
ISNET is an inter-state, non-political and non-profit self-governing agency and it was founded in September 1987 as one of the six Inter-Islamic Networks under the umbrella of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OlC) Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH).
Pakistan is the host country and ISNET Secretariat has been established at Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO).
The Headquarters of the Network shall be situated at Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) Pakistan, as offered by the Government of Pakistan.
Aims/objectives of the organization
a. To collaborate and cooperate with OIC Member States in the peaceful uses of outer space;
b. To exchange information, share experiences and maintain dialogue on the developments in space science, space technology and their applications among OIC Member States;
c. To initiate joint projects of space sciences, space technology and their applications among OIC Member States;
d. To coordinate consultancy and advisory services among Member States;
e. To help and assist in training to develop the quality manpower of OIC Countries of periodic short- and long-term training courses, training workshops/on the job trainings).
Main fields of works/activities of the organization
a. To accomplish its objectives and to help further human resources development and capacity-building efforts of its Member States, ISNET sponsors participants from its member countries for various training courses arranged by SUPARCO, UN and other member countries. These courses include a wide range of topics related to space technology and applications, upper atmosphere & environmental studies, and their applications.
b. The ISNET training courses are attended by professionals from different institutions and countries.
c. ISNET was formed realizing the vital role of space sciences, space technology and applications towards achieving sustainable socioeconomic development. The main activities involve capacity building through conducting annual workshops and trainings. ISNET carries out activities for promoting space sciences and technology.
d. ISNET expanded its scope in 2019 and in its 12th Governing Body Meeting held in Amman, Jordan on 26 March 2019, following 12 technical projects were approved:
(1) Establishment of PakTES-1A image Data deception, Archiving and Processing System (IDRAPS) network between member states of ISNET
(2) Establishment of PakTES-1A image Data Reception, Archiving and Processing System on Existing Ground Station of ISNET Members
(3) Establishment of SRS Data Sharing Platform for ISNET
(4) Collaboration for ISNET Satellite Program between ISNET member states
(5) Launch of PakTES-1B Satellite (AlT, Launch and Operations)
(6) PRSS-1 Data as A Service (DaaS) Platform for ISNET Countries
(7) Land Change Modeling based on Satellite Remote Sensing
(8) Satellite Remote Sensing based Land Degradation Mapping
(9) Develop Land Use and Land Cover (LCCS) ISNET Countries
(10) Satellite Remote Sensing Based Water Resource Mapping
(11) Spatial Crops monitoring For Decision Support to Regional Food Security and Agriculture Trade Balance
(12) Total Electron Content (TEC) & lonospheric Scintillation Monitoring Network
Membership and governance of the organization
The member states joining the Network initially will be the founding members. Other members of OIC member states will be welcome to join the Network after contributing appropriately towards capital cost and sharing partly in the recurring expenditure.
• Pakistan (1987) - Host Country
• Bangladesh (1987)
• Iraq (1987)
• Indonesia (1987)
• Morocco (1987)
• Niger (1987)
• Syria (1997)
• Tunisia (1987)
• Iran (2004)
• Sudan (2004)
• Azerbaijan (2009)
• Senegal (2009)
• Egypt (2011)
• Jordan (2011)
• Saudi Arabia (2015)
• Libya (2017)
Locations of regional offices/representatives
ISNET Secretariat is located at Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO), Karachi, Pakistan
Financial information and sources of funding of the organization
The activities are carried out through the annual financial contribution of active member states. The finances for running the Network shall be the responsibility of the member states of the Network as decided by the Fifth Islamic Summit (Kuwait, January 1987). Further financial assistance may be sought from:
i) COMSTECH and other OIC agencies
ii) International Agencies
iii) Private donations
iv) Income from subscriptions & services
Formal relations with other organizations and bodies of the United Nations system
In order to continually stay abreast with the latest space-related developments,
Identify opportunities for capacity-building of the member States; ISNET became permanent observer of the following forums:
a. UNOOSA (UN Office for Outer Space Affairs) in year 2013
b. GEO (Group on Earth Observation) in year 2015
Cooperation of the Islamic Republic of Iran with ISNET
The Iranian Space Agency became a member of ISNET in 2004. Since its membership, the Space Agency has actively participated in the meetings of the Governing Body of this Network and has presented programs to strengthen the position of this organization in the region. Among the most important commitments and proposals of Iran in recent years are:
To introduce Iranian experts to join to the editorial board of ISNET Journal.
• Submitting articles to ISNET Journal.
Introducing experts for instructor training courses.
• The design, construction and launch of a remote sensing satellite.
• Application for admission and scholarships from member countries.
• Holding short-term training courses.
• Provide remote sensing services and data added value for member states.
• Natural disaster management through satellite-based earth observation data.
• Establishment a data center among member countries to share in-situ data.
• Poverty reduction projects in member states through Space -based data.
ISNET/ISA Workshop on Space Applications for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management
7-19 Sep 2013; Tehran, Iran
ISNET, in collaboration with the Iranian space Agency (ISA), with advisory support of OIC Ministerial Standing Committee for Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) and co-sponsorship of Islamic Development Bank (IDB), held a two-week “Workshop on Space Applications for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management” from 7-19 September 2013 in Tehran, Iran. The Workshop was held at the premises of Iranian Space Research Centre (ISRC).
The Workshop comprised six thematic training modules, namely: floods, avalanches, cyclones, tsunamis, landslides, and earthquakes, which included lectures, demonstrations and hands-on exercises. It centered on the sharing of subject knowledge and practical experience in the realm of disaster risk reduction and management in order to improve capability of undertaking disaster hazard assessment, disaster preparedness and disaster recovery activities through the use of space-enabled applications. It also served to update researchers and scientists from OIC countries on the various methodologies and techniques presently being used to manage disasters and to subsequently improve their ability to analyse various forms of disaster hazards.
At the end of the two-week intensive Workshop that featured over fifty presentations, practical demonstrations and hands-on exercises, an hour-long interactive session was held in which participants’ feedback and Workshop recommendations were presented by the Executive Director of ISNET - Mr Arshad H Siraj. The recommendations, as formulated by the representatives of ISNET, ISA and ISRC, were unanimously adopted by the Workshop participants.