Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) through its SERVIR-Mekong project organized a series of 5 webinars on understanding the role of geospatial technologies in addressing climate change. The webinars encouraged discussion on climate change topics which include reducing human losses from climatic disasters, decision-making, policies, and actions.
In his welcome remarks, Mr. Hans Guttman, ADPC’s Executive Director highlighted the value of collaboration and partnership of USAID, NASA and ADPC and acknowledged the continued support of USAID on regional and national climate change adaption and mitigation efforts.
The webinar series provided a platform for organizations working to address adverse effects of climate change as well as those who are developing and using geospatial technology to come together and share experiences and ideas on strengthening the application of existing geospatial technologies for climate change applications and increasing the uptake of such technologies with decision-makers in the region.
Mr. Aslam Perwaiz, ADPC’s Deputy Executive Director said that the SERVIR-Mekong is embedded in ADPC’s organizational priorities. He added that the forthcoming ADPC Strategy-2030 emphasizes working cooperatively in transdisciplinary teams for producing better, relevant and impactful results. “I believe in taking a collaborative approach for the science-policy-practice interface in disaster risk reduction and climate resilience as we are already at a cross-road of complex overlapping crises”, Aslam said.
The five webinars benefited from 28 experts and panel members, and reached 1300 people online including researchers, brokers and policy-makers.
Mr. Daniel Irwin, SERVIR Global Program Manager, NASA said that since NASA and USAID came together in 2005 to form SERVIR, our mission has been to open up and train people to use the world’s biggest library of Earth and Climate data to the organizations and communities on the front lines of our greatest environmental challenges.
Dr. Steven G. Olive, Mission Director, USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia highlighted that SERVIR-Mekong is uniquely placed to support countries to advance their early warning systems to protect lives and livelihoods through state-of-the-art geospatial technologies.
Mr. Aslam Perwaiz summarized the key takeaways from the symposium by highlighting the following:
• The impacts of climate change will continue to be felt throughout this century and beyond. Countries in Southeast Asia stand to lose the most to climate change as their population lies at the bottom of the development trajectory.
• There is need to improve scientific understanding of key systems, their interactions with one another, and invest more in evaluating climate solutions.
• More efforts need to be put together in building bridges between and among the science-policy-practice stakeholders, in order to advance climate action using earth observations from space.
• SERVIR-Mekong is uniquely placed to support countries to advance their early warning systems to protect lives and livelihoods through state-of-the-art geospatial technologies.
• SERVIR-Mekong’s service planning approach enables its partners to develop products and services in close collaboration with the end users to increase the uptake of these products thereby increasing the rate of success.
• Going forward, there is a need to not only connect ‘Space to Village’ but also connect ‘Village to Space’ by empowering villages to use technology and make decisions that benefit them directly.
Findings from this symposium will be used to co-create the next phase of SERVIR-Mekong in collaboration with USAID and NASA.
SERVIR-Mekong is one of the five hubs under SERVIR - a joint development initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). SERVIR-Mekong is implemented by Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) and its consortium partners: Deltares, Spatial Informatics Group (SIG), and Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI). Since the start of SERVIR-Mekong, USAID has further strengthened existing regional organizations like the Mekong River Commission to sustainably address the adverse effects of climate change in the Lower Mekong.