(25 October 2022) A delegation from the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA), led by PhilSA Director General Dr. Joel Joseph S. Marciano, Jr., is set to represent the Philippines in the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific (MC-4).
Jointly organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) and the Government of Indonesia, the MC-4 will be held under the theme “Space+ for our Earth and Future” on 26 October 2022 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Dr. Marciano will be one of the two Vice Chairs for the MC-4, and deliver the Philippine National Statement on Agenda Item 2, “Scaling up space applications to advance sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific under the theme Space+ for our Earth and Future.”
PhilSA Deputy Director General for Space Science and Technology Dr. Gay Jane P. Perez also continues to serve as the National Focal Point (NFP) to UN ESCAP Regional Space Applications Programme for Sustainable Development (RESAP) to strengthen the representation of the Philippines in the United Nations.
RESAP oversees the conduct of space-related activities throughout the Asia-Pacific region and, as the NFP, Dr. Perez co-chaired the Intergovernmental Consultative Committee (ICC) that was held on 24 October in preparation for the MC-4.
The third session of the Ministerial Conference adopted the Asia-Pacific Plan of Action on Space Applications for Sustainable Development (2018-2030), also referred to as the Plan of Action, due to the recognition of the vital role of regional cooperation in space science, technological innovations and their applications in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Following this, member states will present an evaluation of their country’s implementation of phase I (2018-2022) of the Plan of Action and submit a report with their recommendations in the fourth session. A ministerial declaration advancing regional cooperation in space applications for sustainable development and support for COVID-19 pandemic recovery efforts is the expected outcome of the MC-4.
Member states are also expected to bring regional initiatives and proposals that will support the second phase of the Plan of Action, which addresses 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Also to be launched during the conference is the ESCAP publication, “Geospatial Practices for Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia 2022: A Compendium,” which PhilSA supports and has contributed to. The Compendium highlights good practices and applications in the region in the use of geospatial information and digital technologies.
As the central government agency tasked to address all national issues and activities related to space science, technology and applications, PhilSA aims to contribute to regional efforts for the effective use of space technology for sustainable development in line with the Plan of Action. PhilSA’s participation will also strengthen the country’s relationships with international space players and ensure support as we create the norms that will govern our presence in space.
For more information about the MC-4 program, visit the official event page:
A webcast of the conference will also be available through the official UN ESCAP Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/unescap.
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PhilSA trains journalists on understanding flood images taken from space
Engr. Roel de la Cruz of the PhilSA Space Data Mobilization and Applications Division explains the various Philippine flood maps and satellite data available to the public
(09 November 2022, Quezon City) Following the release of flood impact and change detection maps for Typhoon Paeng (Nalgae) to the media, the Philippine Space Agency (PhilSA) holds a workshop to familiarize journalists on how to read and interpret these satellite images. From 28 October to 06 November, the Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) team of PhilSA and the Department of Science and Technology Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) released maps that showed the extent of flooding in Pampanga, Capiz Province, Maguindanao, and Cotabato, among other areas. The images have also been provided to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD). These images have been obtained from the country’s satellite subscriptions.
The various satellites that provide the Philippines data for numerous uses including disaster, agriculture, and maritime applications
The workshop held on 09 November at PhilSA office in Eastwood Quezon City covered a discussion on the different types of flood maps being issued to the public, a hands-on demonstration on using these maps, as well as a session on interpreting satellite images taken before and after Typhoon Paeng. Reporters, editors, and writers covering environment, climate, and disaster stories participated in the activity. The briefing and workshop were facilitated by PhilSA Space Information Infrastructure Bureau (SIIB) Director Dr. Ariel C. Blanco and PhilSA Space Data Mobilization and Applications Division (SDMAD) Supervising Science Research Specialist Engr. Roel de la Cruz.
“Space data provide valuable information for disaster responders, policymakers, and vulnerable communities to better adapt, prepare, and come up with more effective and innovative efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change. Using information from space, especially with the help of the media, we can prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods,” Dr. Blanco said.
Part of PhilSA’s mandate under RA 11363 or the “Philippine Space Act” is improved public access and resource sharing where PhilSA is to assist the government and the private sectors in delivering public service through the use of space assets. PhilSA is also mandated to develop space education and public awareness through education and capacity building.