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Experts Gather to Discuss the Vital Role of Geospatial Information


November 4, 2013


PDC Deputy Executive Director Chris Chiesa (far right) sits alongside fellow panelists at the UN-GGIM during the closing session of the Chengdu Forum.  Inset features Chiesa presenting on “Applied Science and Technology Supporting Risk Assessment, Hazard Monitoring, and Early Warning Around the Globe.”

Over 200 officials from nearly 40 countries convened in Chengdu, China, October 15–17, to participate in the Chengdu Forum on the United Nations initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM). Organized by the Secretariat of UN-GGIM and the National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and Geoinformation (NASG) of China, the event was themed “Global Map for Sustainable Development: Development and Applications in Urban Hazard Mapping.”

UN-GGIM is taking on a leading role in setting the agenda for the development of global geospatial information and promoting its use to address key global challenges. The forum provided a platform for the discussion of priority issues related to developing, managing, and sharing geospatial information. Additionally, it served to encourage and enable nations to better understand and apply natural hazard impact mapping and analysis in urban environments. Leading experts were engaged to share experiences and methodologies in the production, management, analysis, modeling, and dissemination of hazard-related geospatial information with each other and all participants.

As a sponsored speaker for the special session on Hazard and Risk Modeling Applications, Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) Deputy Executive Director Chris Chiesa presented, “Applied Science and Technology Supporting Risk Assessment, Hazard Monitoring, and Early Warning Around the Globe.” He also chaired the “Developing Geospatial Applications and Methods” session, and served as a panelist during the forum’s closing session.

The experts speaking at the Forum recognized that geospatial information plays a vital role in all phases of hazard and disaster risk management and reduction, and that it extends the ability of nations to map their geography and topography, including areas that are particularly vulnerable to hazards. During the three-day event, PDC’s capabilities, including the Disaster Alert mobile app and the PDC Active Hazard data service, were highlighted and discussed by forum speakers.

For more information on this event:
• Visit the UN-GGIM event site, and
• Read through the UN-GGIM annotated agenda.

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Pacific Disaster Center (PDC) envisions a safer, more secure world—where populations live in more disaster-resilient communities informed by science and technology, and equipped with sound decision support tools. To help make that vision a reality, PDC is dedicated to supporting evidence-based disaster risk reduction (DRR) efforts by providing actionable information and applications to the public and disaster managers worldwide. PDC, a program managed by the University of Hawaii, was established by the U.S. government in 1996.