4th International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology Convenes in Beijing


The 4th International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology (ICRSA4) opened at the Friendship Hotel in Beijing on 24 October, 2012. The conference, themed "A New Era of Earth Observation on Natural and Cultural Heritage”, was organized by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and UNESCO. The event was co-organized by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China (SACH), the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China (MOHURD), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), and was hosted by the International Center on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST), a center under the auspices of UNESCO, and the Aerospace Information Research Institute (AIR), CAS.

The Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the 9th and 10th National People's Congress (NPC) and President of China Great Wall Society, XU Jialu, was invited to speak at the event, along with CAS Deputy Secretary-General PAN Jiaofeng, UNESCO representative Patrick Mckeever, and other guests. Over 200 experts, scholars, and entrepreneurs attended the opening ceremony.

CAS Member GUO Huadong presided over the opening ceremony, expressing his thanks for the great support the different departments had given. He pointed out that this conference would focus on the difficulties of space technology research for monitoring, documenting, and preserving world heritage.

PAN Jiaofeng sent his congratulations on the opening of the conference on behalf of CAS. He hoped that the conference would provide a good international platform for scientists to have academic exchanges and reach new achievements in the field of remote sensing archaeology.

Patrick Mckeeve was highly complimentary about the outstanding contributions to the monitoring and preservation of world heritage made by HIST, and the help it had given to strengthen capacity building for applying space technologies in developing countries.

XU Jialu spoke about his belief that integrated space information technology used for data acquisition, dynamic monitoring, management, and positioning of world heritage sites would make a great new contribution to the cause of human cultural heritage protection.

Also speaking at the Opening Ceremony were GUAN Qiang, Director-General of the Department of World Cultural Heritage in the State Administration of Cultural Heritage; LI Rusheng, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Urban Construction in the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development; Mario Hernandez, representative of HIST; TONG Qingxi, CAS Member and Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the conference; Grellan Rourke, Chairman of the Bureau of the Council at the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property, and other guests also gave speeches in the opening ceremony.

The International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology conference series was initiated by CAS to discuss better ways of applying space-based Earth observation technology into the monitoring, preservation, and management of natural and cultural world heritage. The International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology is held every two years, and so far it has been held in China, Italy, and India.

The conference was closed on 26 October with the announcement that the next meeting would be hosted by the United States, the representative of which gave a speech.

The closing ceremony saw the adoption of the Beijing Declaration of 2012, much appreciation given to the great contribution made by the conference organizer, and a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention. Also, the conference participants appealed to the international scientific community for closer international cooperation in promoting applied studies with Earth observation technology for the preservation and management of world heritage and enhancing the capacity building of developing countries in this field.

The conference is opened on 24 October in Beijing.

Guo Huadong,presiding over the opening ceremony,delievers a speech.

Pictured below: Conference participants address the audience at a plenary session.

PAN Jiaofeng

Patrick Mckeever

GUAN Qiang

LI Rusheng

Mario Hernandez

TONG Qingxi

Grellan Rourke

XU Jialu

Maurizio Forte

LI Deren

Panel session

Roundtable meeting