Asia-Pacific adopts plan to use space technology for disaster risk reduction and sustainable developmentListen /
Asia-Pacific countries have adopted a five year Regional Plan of Action for the application of space technology to address natural disasters and achieve sustainable development.
The countries met in Bangkok, Thailand, from 18 to 20 December under the auspices of the UN Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
The plan calls on ESCAP as the most inclusive platform for governments in the region, to harmonize existing regional initiatives and pool expertise and resources to better use space technology.
The head of ESCAP, Dr. Noeleen Heyzer spoke about some of the benefits of space technologies and geographic information systems (GIS).
"Space application and GIS for drought monitoring and forecasting allow farmers to more effectively plant and irrigate their crops in order to increase their incomes. Weather forecasts and early warning systems enabled by these technologies allow fishermen to safely plan their trips out to sea and school children in remote villages to benefit from tele-education through telecommunication satellites." (29")
The Plan of Action for the application of space technologies to address natural disasters and achieve sustainable development calls for a ministerial conference to be held in 2015 to evaluate progress made in its implementation.
Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.