At the regional, national and even local levels, requirements for data and information for sustainable development planning assume varying importance, depending on the examination and consideration of the very factors that would enhance sustainable development. Hence, some countries might be more concerned with alleviating poverty and enhancing their economic growth, whereas others might be more inclined to protect their environment and natural resources. Besides the national development interests, countries of the region are affected by concerns about global warming and its attendant climatic changes and environmental transformations. The countries of the region are also concerned about the widening digital divide. In order to address these specific issues related to environmentally sound and sustainable development and improved quality of life, a set of common denominator projects has been conceived to integrate appropriate space technology applications in this context.
Common denominator projects take into consideration the commonality of interests of countries of the region, the complementarities of technological development and the availability of expertise and resources. Whenever possible, the projects are to be dovetailed with existing projects and activities at national and/or regional levels. Technical cooperation projects and joint regional research studies on space technology applications currently comprise the basis of the Minimum Common Programme.
The titles of the projects are as follows:
Development and applications of a multi-purpose environmental and natural resources information base for food security and sustainable development
Integrated land and water resources management
Crop-monitoring and agricultural production forecasting in the ESCAP region
Capacity-building for disaster management in Asia and the Pacific
Community-based communication facilities for rural development
Capacity-building in disaggregated poverty mapping and its integration with environment information
Applications of meteorological satellite data and information products for sustainable development
Promoting regional cooperation for integrated coastal zone management
Enhancing the capacity for urban and rural development planning
Potential offshore fishery area delineation and inland aquaculture development
Mapping for groundwater potential and identification of recharge zones
Environmental monitoring and analysis for health care and hygiene
Telemedicine for rural populations
Monitoring and assessment of impacts of the Asian monsoon using satellite technology
Cropping system studies
Precision farming studies
Descriptions of these common denominator projects are presented in the annex to the present publication.
Table 1 shows the relationship between the common denominator projects and the overall objectives of the Minimum Common Programme.
Table 1. Common denominator projects mapped against the objectives of the Minimum Common Programme