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Academic Exchange Seminar and Launch of DBAR-Heritage Project Successfully Held in Beijing

13th March 2017

On 13th March 2017, the academic exchange seminar and the project launch of the Digital Belt and Road for Heritage (DBAR-Heritage) were successfully organized by the International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) under the auspices of UNESCO in Beijing. The session was attended by leading international and Chinese experts in the field of spatial information technology, geological sciences, archaeology and also decision makers.

The opening remarks were presented by Prof Zhang Bing, Deputy Director of the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth (RADI) which is the hosting institution of HIST. He stressed on the importance of Big Earth data and Space technologies for the One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative and the Digital Belt and Road Initiative which is being spearheaded by RADI. He also spoke about RADI’s capabilities in applying DBAR for Heritage conservation and about HIST’s prowess in international collaboration and its vast experience in working with different stakeholders, both globally and nationally. Dr. Ozlem Adiyaman Lopes representing the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences of UNESCO, made a presentation providing an overview of UNESCO and details of her research on tectonics and volcanism in Turkey. Other presentations made by the experts focused on various themes like Nature-Culture Interface, importance of sustainable development in heritage, earth observation and archaeology and opportunities for further collaborations. Representatives from the 3 bases of HIST also made presentations outlining their roadmap, while HanWin Corporation representatives presented the World Heritage Space Database formulation progress.
The launching ceremony was presided over by Professor Guo Huadong, Director of HIST and attended by H.E Ambassador of Tunisia to China, Mr. Dhia Khaled. Professor Wang Xinyuan, Deputy Director of HIST and Dr. Rosa Lasaponara were made co-chairpersons of the DBAR-Heritage working group and were awarded certificates for the same by Prof. Guo. Prof Wang made a detailed presentation on the DBAR-Heritage project.
Professor Guo gave an overview of the progress made by the DBAR program and mentioned that DBAR has seven working groups in total, namely Big Earth Data (DBAR-DATA), Agriculture and Food Security (DBAR-AGRI), Coastal Zone(DBAR-COAST), Environmental Change (DBAR-ENVI), Natural and Cultural Heritage (DBAR-HERITAGE), Disaster Risk Reduction (DBAR-DISASTER), and Water (DBAR-WATER); established two task forces, namely DBAR Urban Task Force and DBAR Cold Region Task Force. He expressed the vision of DBAR, which is to foster coordinated efforts among all the working groups to tackle the challenges being faced by the countries along the Belt and Road. The attendees participated in a discussion session and touched upon the major topics dealt with in the seminar.

Group Photo of the attendees

Prof Guo Huadong making a speech