Cotabato City, Philippines: The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) presented its newly completed digital maps of Mindanao for validation by concerned local government units (LGUs) in support of peace and development initiatives in Southern Philippines, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said.
Yutaka Kokofu, JICA Topographic Map Project Team Leader, reported the successful production of digital maps at the “Topographic Mapping for Peace and Development in Mindanao” 2nd Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC) meetings held recently across the island, MinDA Chairperson Luwalhati Antonino said.
She said the digital topographic maps cover all regions in Mindanao, copies of which were given to the LGUs and line agencies to validate the names of barangays (villages), rivers, lakes, mountains, and other data mentioned therein. The recipients’ feedbacks should be submitted by the end of this month for incorporation into the final form of the maps.
“The updated maps provide accurate geographic information that can be used in managing disaster risks, as well as management and protection of the environment and its resources,” Antonino said.
The topographic mapping is a two-year Japan-funded project jointly undertaken by MinDA, JICA, and the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) aimed at updating the over 60-year-old existing reference maps of Mindanao in support of peace and development initiatives on the island, she stressed.
The modern maps contain data on the topography, river systems, vegetation and land cover, infrastructure and transportation network, populated areas, administrative boundaries, annotation of geographic names including mountains, rivers, bays, municipalities, and villages, among others, Antonino added.
Additional specifications include bathymetric data that covers underwater depth of lakes and ocean floors covering 58,000 square kilometres, the MinDA official informed.
Antonino said the maps are vital for development planning on the island-region’s environment, security, peace and order, and economy, and in improving delivery of services to help uplift the socio-economic conditions of residents, especially those in critical areas.