SDIM Holds the 1st High-level Meeting on Space Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction in Developing
During the 8th International Symposium on Digital Earth (ISDE8) from August 26 to 29, 2013, the 1st High-Level Meeting on Space Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction in Developing Countries and related sessions were organized by the CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation in the City of Kuching, Malaysia.
The meeting was co-chaired by Guo Huadong, Director of CAS-TWAS Centre of Excellence on Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation (SDIM) and the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), CAS, and Jane E. Rovins, Executive Director of Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) International Program Office (IPO). Participants included over 20 experts and scholars from international organizations and developing countries such as Ms. Barbara Ryan, Secretariat Director of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO), Prof. John Richards, President of International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE), Prof. Mazlan Hashim, Technological University of Malaysia (UTM), Minister-Counselor Luciano Parodi, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile, and Dr. Peou Hang, Deputy Director General of Authority for the Protection and Management of Angkor and the Region of Siem Reap (APSARA). They held thorough discussions on the current situation of major international disaster mitigation programmes and initiatives, the key technology that might significantly improve current disaster mitigation initiatives in developing countries, challenges facing developing countries to improve their space technology for disaster mitigation, and the feasibility of strengthening multilateral cooperation.
The meeting reached the consensus that while developed countries generally have the technological resources needed to respond and recover from major disasters, the effect natural hazards can have on the environment and society of less developed countries can be devastating and long-lasting. Earth observation and technology tied to Digital Earth-a global effort to create a virtual representation of the entire planet - can reduce costs and efforts needed to monitor and mitigate disasters and their effects. The improvement of disaster reduction ability of developing countries poses a higher requirement for the coordination and cooperation in the space technology for disaster mitigation and global cooperation is the inevitable choice for developing countries to respond to disasters and reduce risks.
The meeting reached a consensus on improving the developing countries’ space technology for disaster mitigation and decided to set up a Joint Working Group (JWG) formed by the SDIM, CEOS, GEO, IRDR, ISDE ITC, etc. The objectives, participating members, and tasks of the JWG were also discussed. As the lead organization of the JWG, the SDIM will work with other organizations to set up the JWG and plans to complete the Report on Strategic Development of Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation in Developing Countries within three years. Dr. Shirish Ravan, Head of Beijing Office of United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) expressed his support in a letter and hoped that UN-SPIDER would be able to participate in the JWG.
On August 28, the SDIM and GEO co-held the session on digital earth and space technology for disaster mitigation. Participants discussed the technological application of earth observation and digital earth to disaster reduction. Centering on the latest progress and application demands of the space technology for disaster mitigation, experts from developing countries such as Morocco, Chile and Cambodia exchanged ideas with experts from international disaster reduction organizations, exploring the cooperation and communication between scientists in developing countries in the field of space technology for disaster mitigation.
During the meeting, attending experts spoke highly of SDIM’s International Training Workshop “The Theory, Method and Application of Space Technology for Disaster Mitigation” to be held from November 11 to 22, 2013 in Sanya, China and believed that it would help improve the capacity building in less developed countries.
The fisrt High-Level Meeting on Space Technology for Disaster Risk Reduction in Developing Countries.
Director Guo Huadong and some delegates from developing countries.
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