Sentinel Asia, an initiative of the Asia-Pacific Regional Space Agency Forum (APRSAF), aims to work with international organizations to support natural disaster mitigation activities in the region. This is an initiative of great significance for member countries, especially for Vietnam – the country greatly affected by natural disasters.
Space technology, or satellite earth observation systems in particular, are playing more and more effective roles in inspecting natural resources, environment and natural disasters, especially when there is coordination between countries in sharing data and resources.
On March 7, 2017, a ceremony was held at the Institute of Space Technology to mark 10 years since Sentinel Asia's establishment. Held by VAST in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the ceremony witnessed the attendance of Mr. Masanobu Tsuji, JAXA Representative in Bangkok; Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ninh Khac Ban, Head of the VAST International Cooperation Department; Mr. Nguyen Quoc Khanh, acting Head of the Department of National Remote Sensing under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment; Mr. Tran Quang Hoai, Deputy Head of the Water Resource Directorate under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Dr. Bui Trong Tuyen, Head of the Institute of Space Technology, and delegates from Japan, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam.
After 10 years of operation, Sentinel Asia has over 100 member organizations coming from 26 countries and 15 international organizations. It creates a large network, making practical contribution to promote the application of space technology and benefiting members. In the future, Sentinel Asia will continue to support member organizations in preventing and mitigating natural resources.
VAST has been carrying out diverse projects in developing and applying space technology, of which natural disaster mitigation to serve sustainable development is one of the important targets. VAST has also actively worked with domestic and international agencies and organizations, including Sentinel Asia, in order to increase the efficiency of international integration in this area. Vietnam’s VNREDSat-1 satellite provides, through Sentinel Asia, over 300 photos of areas in regions reporting natural disasters.
In 2015, VAST worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the central steering committee on natural disaster prevention and mitigation and JAXA to sign a memorandum of understanding on natural disaster prevention and mitigation using remote sensing technologies and the geographical space system, focusing on developing the database system, satellite photos, exchange of satellite database when natural disasters happen; training technical human resources and developing common projects on applying geographical space resources in natural disaster prevention.
The celebration of 10 years since Sentinel Asia's establishment is an important milestone recognizing achievements gained, working out orientations and solutions to overcome weaknesses and promote strengths of members in coping with natural disasters and other cooperative activities.
The 4th program on common project meeting, the third phase, of Sentinel Asia was held on March 8-9, 2017, at the VAST Institute of Space Technology.
Insignias awarded to representatives from agencies that make contributions to Sentinel Asia over the past 10 years
Taking commemorative photograph
Translated by Phuong Huyen
Link to Vietnamese version