Asia and the Pacific
India has been making significant progress in responding to the demands of today’s cities by incorporating robust space technologies and GIS into the urban planning, transport management and traffic navigation techniques.
The TanSat mission is the first Chinese mini-satellite dedicated to the detection and monitoring of carbon dioxide (CO2). In 2016, the satellite was launched into space, making China the third country after Japan and the United States of America to monitor greenhouse gas emissions through its own satellite. The data collected by TanSat has helped to improve the understanding of global carbon dioxide distribution, its seasonal variation, and its impacts on climate change.
To determine the suitability of a location for generating solar energy, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) uses solar data derived from measurements on-board the geostationary satellite Kalpana. This is used in conjunction with global horizontal, direct normal and diffuse horizontal irradiance along with capacity utilization factors, these are available at an hourly temporal resolution.
To help address the challenges of drought monitoring, Mongolia became the first pilot country for ESCAP’s Regional Drought Mechanism. The process began in 2013 following a request to ESCAP to pilot the Mechanism through the Mongolian National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) within the Information and Research Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment (IRIMHE).
Similar to coral reefs and seagrass, mangroves are extremely biodiverse ecosystems that are critical as nursery grounds for many marine species, including those essential to global fisheries. They purify water, stabilize coastlines, provide protection from storms, and are important sources of food and resources for local communities.
The Land Development Department of Thailand (LDD), uses space applications to support the country’s agricultural sector in many ways, including surveying soil classification for agricultural planning, and for agricultural land census. Surveying soil classification for agricultural planning uses satellite images in combination with aerial imagery, such as through the Soil series visualisation system.
The Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), in Thailand, used space applications to combat COVID-19, in particular to enable policymakers to utilize COVID-19 related data. GISTDA used space applications to monitor the COVID-19 situation and visualize the impact of the policies employed in the country. For example, GISTDA analysed reduced night-light images to monitor the impact from lock-down measures.
The 2019 cyclonic storm ‘Fani’ was one of the severest cyclones, in the past two decades, to hit the Bay of Bengal, affecting around 100 million people in South Asia. The cyclone travelled from India's Andaman Islands to Mount Everest in Nepal. Among the countries impacted along its way, India and Bangladesh faced the most extreme damages. A similar cyclone, the Odisha cyclone that occurred in 1999, caused more than 10,000 deaths in these two countries.