Distinguished Participants, Colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, the global space community has entered a new era in space development propelled by digital innovations that leave no sector, including space technology applications, untouched.
International cooperation on developments in space technology and related applications, as well as space diplomacy, will continue to play an important role in achieving sustainable development.
Regional cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space for the mutual development benefits of all members of the United Nations is essential.
Space diplomacy is a growing field in which various nations can come to a consensus on what is equitable for addressing sustainable development challenges when it comes to exploration and commercialization.
ESCAP has taken actions, at the regional level, in mainstreaming the use of space technology and geospatial information applications to achieve the sustainable development goals.
In October 2018, member States adopted the Asia-Pacific Plan of Action on Space Applications for Sustainable Development (2018–2030) and pledged to continue to work collectively and assiduously towards the emergence of Asia and the Pacific as a model region for cooperation in space technology.
Country-level implementation is key for achieving the SDGs.
For example, in Indonesia, satellite data has emerged as an important tool in understanding many environmental issues at a deeper level, such as disaster risk reduction, monitoring climate changes, and water resource management.
As an important stakeholder, LAPAN provides Indonesia with satellite images for disasters, but it goes further. It also shares its good practices and knowledge to enhance the diverse and vital contributions of geospatial applications.
Now, the pandemic has raised new challenges.
Since 2020, the convergence of the COVID-19 pandemic with natural hazards has created a hitherto unseen complex, compounding, and cascading risk landscape in the region. Indonesia is among the countries that are applying geospatial techniques to generate ‘heatmaps’ for those communities most vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19 and disasters. This mapping exercise is also to identify the poorest people and their new needs, many of which remain excluded from social protection systems.
Combining geo-referenced aggregated data and artificial intelligence helps to deepen the understanding of the impact of COVID-19 for better pandemic preparedness. LAPAN’s COVID-19 data Hub, which combines statistics, crowdsourced data and mid-, high- and very high-resolution satellite imagery, has performed risk assessment and visualization on the COVID-19 spread.
Colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen,
Digital innovations provide the opportunity to speed up, leverage and augment traditional applications of space technologies to help leapfrog towards effectively integrating geospatial information for better planning and decision making, monitoring and accelerating SDG implementation.
ESCAP with a 27-year long-standing Regional Space Applications Programme for Sustainable Development, will continue to support the member States to explore new pathways beyond traditional applications of space technology.
In this regard, we are promoting “SPACE+ for our future Earth” to make geospatial data more accessible, available, actionable and affordable to benefit people and inform practices, processes and policies.
Towards realizing this vision, we appreciate the generous offer from the Government of Indonesia to host the 4th Ministerial Conference on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific in October 2022.
ESCAP will continue supporting the capacity development of countries in the Asia-Pacific region to foster technological advancements and innovations to achieve sustainable development goals.
I wish you all a successful seminar.
Thank you very much.