New Delhi: The Space Leaders Forum, convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), outlined a new Asia-Pacific Plan of Action for Space Application 2018-2030, covering pillars on disaster risk reduction and resilience, environment and natural resources and geospatial information for services and infrastructure. The Plan of Action identifies a wide range of potential space applications to support regional implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and provides far-reaching solutions to some of the most pressing issues identified in the 2030 Agenda, ranging from health, education, food security, agriculture, and natural resource management, to disaster risk reduction and resilience-building.
Leaders in the region committed to strengthening RESAP for sharing spacefaring capabilities, technologies, tools, data, and services, and to provide effective means to evaluate and monitor the implementation of the SDGs in the region.
“Space technology applications have great potential for supporting the implementation, follow-up and review of the SDGs. But to fulfil their potential we need to bridge existing gaps in capacity between countries, build bridges between decision-makers and the data and information they need, and bring together the space community and end users with the common goal of addressing the great sustainability challenges of Asia Pacific” said Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP.
Dr. Akhtar added, “Space technologies are transforming our society on a daily basis. We must be ready to utilize them to better address the needs of peoples and communities in the region.”
The Forum requested the ESCAP Secretariat to work in consultation with its member States and stakeholders to present the new Asia-Pacific Plan of Action for Space Applications for discussion at the respective ESCAP inter-government committees next year, as well as at the next Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD). The Plan of Action also contributes to the regional road map for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development that ESCAP is developing.
The Forum was held alongside the Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (AMCDRR) in New Delhi. The declaration from the Forum will be taken to AMCDRR and beyond to the Ministerial Conference on Space Applications in 2018.