Asian Surveying & Mapping
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The Asian Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC), Kobe Japan earlier launched the ASEAN Cooperation Project on the Utilisation of Satellite Images for Disasters. “The main objective of the project is to increase the awareness and develop necessary skills in using satellite data/images of government officers in disaster management agencies, mapping agencies, space agencies, and other related agencies of ASEAN member countries who are engaged in disaster mitigation and risk management activities.” Education and training opportunities have been held throughout the year in Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines and Thailand to date. 

The GeoInformatics Centre at the Asian Institute of Technology recently held the 6th Regional Training Course on GIS for Disaster Risk Management. That event featured training to enable students to collect and analyse spatial data for hayard and risk management events. 

In November, UN-SPIDER pointed out that the International Charter Space and Major Disasters was celebrating its 10th anniversary. The Charter allows for rapid tasking of satellites to provide imagery for disaster related events. These images provides field crews with needed and valuable information to gain an understanding of the extents and locations of those areas impacted by severe events. 

The Asia-Pacific Space Agency Regional Forum (APRSAF) also provides Asian members with the opportunity to obtain guidance and assistance in the use of space for meeting terrestrial challenges. Sentinel-Asia: Disaster Management Support System In The Asia-Pacific Region says, “Asia has been seriously damaged by natural disasters over the last 30 years. The region sustained 57 percent of global fatalities and 89 percent of the total victims associated with such disasters.”

It is evident that remote sensing plays an important role in meeting the challenges for disaster related events in Asia. Numerous activities are provided needed imagery for these circumstances. At the same time, a growing need exists to continually train and educate field workers responding to these events in the use and application of geospatial technologies for using these products. 

This is not a one-off experience, but instead, demands that continual education opportunities are provided and that they are presented to people near the places they live for them to most effectively provide collaboration and connection to other regional resources that might respond.