ESCAP has taken many steps to address the challenges of building resilience in multi-dimensional ways. Through its long-standing Regional Space Applications Programme for Sustainable Development (RESAP), ESCAP has made concerted efforts to promote the application of space technology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for supporting disaster risk reduction and inclusive and sustainable development.
On 10 October 2018, Ministers and the heads of the space community from over 30 countries in Asia-Pacific the Pacific met in Bangkok for the Third Ministerial Conference on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific. The Ministerial Conference adopted two documents that will guide work in Asia-Pacific for the next decade: 1) the Ministerial Declaration on Space Applications for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific, and 2) the Asia-Pacific Plan of Action on Space Applications for Sustainable Development (2018–2030).
The Plan of Action is a regionally-coordinated, inclusive and country-needs driven blueprint that harnesses space and geospatial applications, as well as digital innovations to support countries, particularly those with special needs, to achieve the 2030 Agenda. It maps the sectoral needs and resources at national and regional levels, and promotes multi-sectoral coordination. The Ministerial Declaration pledged to implement the Plan of Action and contribute to the “Space2030” agenda, to be formulated by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
The plan of action is fully aligned with the ESCAP Regional Roadmap for Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific. It includes 188 actions in the following thematic areas: (a) disaster risk management; (b) natural resource management; (c) connectivity; (d) social development; (e) energy; and (f) climate change. All actions will significantly contribute to 37 Targets of 14 Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The implementation modalities are through: (a) research and knowledge-sharing; (b) capacity-building and technical support; and (c) intergovernmental discussions and regional practices. Among the three, capacity-building and technical support has been identified by countries as the priority in implementing the plan of action. The Plan is divided into three implementation phases, each of a four-year duration, with a Ministerial Conference to be convened at the end of each phase.
ESCAP is enhancing collaboration with global and regional partners, such as UN-GGIM, UNOOSA, GEO, UNITAR/UNOSAT, WMO, FAO, UNCCD, ASEAN, SAARC, SPC, APRSAF, APSCO, CSSTEAP, ARTSA, ADPC and AIT, to support countries in Asia and the Pacific to implement the Plan of Action.