Friday, May 20, 2016

ABD’s Knowledge-Sharing Dialogue on Remote Sensing and GIS Technology for Water Resources Management (2016-05-13)

Hi everyone, this is Abdul Moiz. Last Friday, I accompanied Dr. Kawasaki to a Knowledge-Sharing Dialogue on Remote Sensing and GIS Technology for Water Resources Management hosted by ADB at the Japanese Representative Office of ADBI, Kasumigaseki Building.

The event was organized for the purpose of sharing useful knowledge about the application of cutting-edge Remote Sensing and GIS Technologies for Water Resources Management, with the delegates from Pakistan. The delegation primarily consisted of officials from several irrigation departments in Pakistan along with the Chairperson of the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR).

There were three presenters from the side of University of Tokyo, Prof. Dr. Shibasaki, Proj. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kawasaki and Mr. Faizan Mahmood (former student of Prof. Dr. Shibasaki).

Prof. Dr. Shibasaki brought the members up-to-date on the current developments in the sector of GIS and how it was being applied to Japan in order improve our understanding of people flow during disastrous events like the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. He also discussed the application of a flood warning system to Bangladesh, were warnings were disseminated via cellphones. Moreover, the analysis of people flow data in such an area can give a deeper understanding about the spread of virus in a society.

Dr. Kawasaki talked about the Science and Technology Research Partnership for Sustainable Development. He presented the case of development of an integrated disaster resilience system for Myanmar with a view of not only academic research but actual implementation. Such kind of a system could also prove to be very useful for a country like Pakistan. Three aspects were considered, hazard, governance and community along with the limited availability of past records for such kind of an area. Moreover, the role of Water-Energy Budget based Distributed Hydrological Model (WEB-DHM) for the development of an early flood warning system was also discussed.

Mr. Faizan discussed how remote sensing and GIS can be used to assess the impact of floods on crops and the assessment of resulting crop damage.

The delegates were very impressed with the cases of innovative applications of remote sensing and GIS presented to them. They had two primary concerns i.e. how early warnings can be disseminated to local population of Baluchistan (a province of Pakistan), where flash floods are very common and how can such knowledge be shared between the University of Tokyo and the Government of Pakistan in the future. However, at the end of the session they were convinced that remote sensing and GIS can indeed be adopted for improved and efficient water resources management in Pakistan.

Following the event, some of the delegates were very interested in having a tour of the Hongo Campus at the University of Tokyo. So, I took the responsibility of showing them around. I also accompanied them to lunch with the Ambassador of Pakistan at Roppongi Hills Club, Tokyo. 

The view from the top was indeed a sight for sore eyes.

In the evening, I gave the delegates a tour of Hongo Campus and also introduced them to Prof. Dr. Koike. They were indeed much honored to meet him personally.

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