NASA, USAID expand environmental data project
- By Amanda Ziadeh
- Sep 02, 2015
The SERVIR project is a joint effort by NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development to provide decision-makers around the globe with integrated satellite observations, ground-based data and forecast models to better monitor and forecast environmental changes. The goal is to them to better plan for and respond to natural disasters.
And on Aug. 31, the two agencies official extended SERVIR into Asia’s Lower Mekong region -- an area that is especially vulnerable to flooding and other negative effects of climate change.
The SERVIR-Mekong hub runs out of the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Bangkok, Thailand, and will cover five countries in the region. The continuous and timely space-based Earth data and observations will be shared with governments and researchers in Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
The center joins two other hubs operating in developing regions around the world -- one in Kathmandu, Nepal, and the other Nairobi, Kenya. The hubs are intended to use publicly available geospatial data to help scientists and researchers make better decisions regarding critical regional climate, weather and environmental issues. Specifically, the SERVIR will address how water management, land use planning, disaster risk reduction and natural resource management can improve natural disaster response, food security and human health, as they pertain to each specific region and population.
According to Beth Paige, director of USAID's Regional Development Mission for Asia, scientists from Southeast Asia and NASA have already begun tapping into these resources and developing tools to tackle these challenges.
Amanda Ziadeh is a former reporter/producer for GCN.