December 2012, Nayphidow, Myanmar – Myanmar has become the most recent Asian country to receive UNOSAT advanced training on the use of geospatial information technology for disaster risk reduction as part of the UNOSAT sub-regional capacity development initiative launched in 2011.
The one week course was delivered by UNOSAT experts to 17 selected national experts. The activity was hosted at the Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD) and was attended by experts from the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Construction, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Agriculture. The diverse background and mandates of participants underscores the importance of disaster and risk mapping today in countries in need to plan their development and control their vulnerability to natural hazards.
One main reason for the increasing popularity of this UNOSAT course is that the data used during training and exercises always reflects the current situation and problems in the country concerned. Another important feature is that each training is calibrated to the local needs and designed to pass on to national experts the experience and professional skills matured by the UNOSAT team in Geneva instead of standardized training on GIS and available geospatial tools.
Luca dell’Oro of UNOSAT who managed the project in Myanmar says “We focus on augmenting the capacity of the national experts who take our courses. We like to think that we bring to them the answers they need instead of frustrating expectations with off-the-shelf training and workshops that often only increase the number of questions on the table”.
The UNOSAT-ADPC cooperation arrangement set up to meet the needs of countries in the region is supported by the government of Norway and set up within the UNOSAT-ADPC partnership created in 2011. The aim of the partnership is to give countries in the region access to concrete solutions in geospatial information and satellite imagery analysis for disaster risk reduction. More than 80 disaster management professionals have been trained already in Asia. Banking on the positive results, UNOSAT is discussing with ESCAP officials the enlargement of the training offer in the region.
UNOSAT in-country training courses have been introduced in 2009 and implemented in Asia since 2011. They have been in great demand ever since. In most cases this type of course is part of a national capacity development package that includes in-situ assessments and direct technical assistance when needed. For more information and to request the a dedicated in-country project: firstname.lastname@example.org