Senior officials from governments across the Asia-Pacific region agreed on a set of collective priorities and ground-breaking initiatives that will build resilience to natural disasters and further enhance regional cooperation, at a meeting convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok.
In line with this, ESCAP's long-standing Regional Space Applications Programme for Sustainable Development (RESAP) announced the development and operationalization of a new regional mechanism on drought. With this mechanism, the monitoring and early warning capabilities of drought-prone countries will be significantly strengthened through the effective use of space-based information provided by service nodes in the region.
Every year in the Asia-Pacific region, droughts push millions of farmers into debt and deepen poverty and hunger but this new regional mechanism is capable of issuing early warnings before the drought is visible to the human eye. Its satellite sensors will detect warning soil and water conditions before the worst of the droughts take hold, so that early action can be taken.
Initially supported by Chinese and Indian space agencies, the regional drought mechanism will provide monitoring and early warning services and capacity building for drought-prone countries in the region. Mongolia is already piloting the mechanism, and Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka are expected to join soon as pilot counties.
(source: ESCAP Media Center)