The International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and CulturalHeritage (HIST),acategory-II centre under the auspices of UNESCO, was proposed to UNESCO by the ChineseAcademy of Sciences in May 2007. The proposal was approved by the 35th General Conference of UNESCO in October 2009, and ratified by the State Council of China in April 2011. On 24 July, 2011, the launching ceremony of HIST was held in Beijing. This is the first UNESCO centreapplying space technologies to the monitoring and conservation of world natural and cultural heritage sites. The centre is hosted bythe Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth(RADI) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Guo Huadong, Gretchen Kalonji, Xu Guanhua, and Ding Zhongli unveil the nameplate in theOpening Ceremony of HIST (24 July 2011)

Using space technologies, HIST will assist UNESCO and its Member States in their endeavours to monitor and evaluate natural and cultural heritage sites and biosphere reserves and to combat the effects of climate change and natural disasters. HIST will build itself into a demonstrative centre using space data for World Heritage conservation, provide services including network inquiry, technical information support and personnel training, and make unique contributions to the management and protection of heritage sites worldwide.

UNESCO Headquarters (Paris)

Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters (Beijing)

International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage

HIST is hosted by the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI), which is a comprehensive scientific and research institute combining operation and research. RADI has three ground stations covering 70% of the Asian terretory and also possesses two remote sensing aircraft with more than 10 types of advanced remote sensors, forming a new-generation, high-performance aerial remote sensing system.

RADI’s three ground stations cover 70% of the Asian territory

High-performance Airborne
Remote Sensing Equipment
ARJ-21 Remote Sensing Aircraft

RADI is building a Digital Earth Platform, which has capabilities for data storage, information analysis and simulation research, providing a firm base for natural and cultural heritage studies using space technology.

The Digital Earth Platform