The 15th United Nations Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Pacific (UNRCC-AP) incorporating the 6th Permanent Committee on GIS Infrastructure for Asia and the Pacific (PCGIAP) meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from April 10 to 14 this year. The conference had a primary focus on the continued and strengthened contribution of geographic information in support of the implementation of Agenda 21 and its emphasis on sustainable development.
Each PCGIAP member country was invited by the United Nations to send a delegation to the meeting. Experts in surveying, mapping, GIS and related activities were invited as guest speakers. Recognising the importance of the support provided by the GIS Forum South Asia to sustainable development across South Asia, the PCGIAP and UNRCC-AP invited the GIS Forum as an observer to the conference. Ravi Gupta, Director, Centre for Spatial Database Management and Solutions (CSDMS) participated in the conference. United Nations representation was from the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Twenty six countries in the region and eight from outside attended. There were over 100 participants from the 34 countries and close to 100 observers, as well as 13 invited speakers. On the first day reports from PCGIAP working groups on activities over the previous three years and report on status of resolutions from the 14th UNRCC-AP were presented. The reports from PCGIAP working groups gave the detailed profile of Working Group 1 and 2 which are concerned with Regional Geodetic Network and Regional Fundamental Data respectively, it also covered the workplans of Development Needs Taskforce. There were presentations by invited speakers covering topics on GSDI; Global Mapping; Land Administration; The Permanent Committee for the Americas; Geographical names; ESCAP Space Technology Applications; Surveying issues and challenges for the 21st century; Leading edge cartography; International geodesy; Corporatisation of national mapping agencies; World Bank support for emerging nations; JICA programs across the region; and GIS development and challenges in Pacific island nations. Five Conference Committee meetings were held in parallel to develop resolutions for consideration by the Conference on the issues such as:
- progress with workplans of current working groups and the need to continue their work;
- the possibility of forming additional working group/s;
- structure and workplans of working groups after the Kuala Lumpur Conference.
PCGIAP elections were held at the Conference. It was declared that the next PCGIAP meeting is scheduled for Tsukuba Japan in April 2001 and the 16th UNRCC-AP will be held in 2003. For details visit the PCGIAP web site at: