A new NASA joint project will provide timely weather, climate and other Earth related data to five countries in Southeast Asia, enabling them to better address issues of natural resource and disaster management.
NASA and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched SERVIR-Mekong project to strengthen regional environmental monitoring in five countries in the lower Mekong region of Southeast Asia.
One of three SERVIR hubs now operating in developing regions of the world, the centre is housed at the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre in Thailand, and joins a growing global community of scientists and decision-makers using publicly available data from space assets to address critical regional issues, NASA said.
Researchers draw on a continuous stream of space-based climate, weather and other Earth observation data from NASA and its partners, sharing timely information with governments and researchers in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam and addressing issues such as water management, land use planning, disaster risk reduction and management of natural resources.
The SERVIR programme helps governments incorporate Earth observations and geospatial technologies into natural disaster response, improve food security, safeguard human health, and manage water and natural resources.
“Under SERVIR-Mekong, we are tapping into the best available science and technology to help protect this region’s vital ecosystems and the benefits they provide to society,” said Beth Paige, director of USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia.
“Already, Asian scientists, NASA scientists and others are beginning to develop tools to build resilience and contribute to tackling some of the region’s most pressing challenges,” Paige said.
SERVIR was developed in coordination with the Group on Earth Observations, an alliance of more than 90 nations and organisations collaborating to build a global Earth-observing system to benefit society’s needs.
Named for a Spanish term meaning ‘to serve,’ the programme was initiated in 2005 by researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Centre in Alabama, which continues to house the SERVIR Coordination Office.
NASA, USAID and their partners operate SERVIR hubs in Nepal, serving the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya region, and in Kenya, serving Eastern and Southern Africa.
The first SERVIR hub, launched in 2005 in Panama, served the Mesoamerican region and the Dominican Republic.