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      Capacity Building Training Course on Geomatics “Regional Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for Sustainable Development in ECO Countries”



      JOINT PRESS RELEASE
      Capacity Building Training Course on Geomatics “Regional Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for Sustainable Development in ECO Countries”
      On September 13-15, 2021Training Course on Geomatics “Regional Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for Sustainable Development in ECO Countries” was organized by Survey of Pakistan. The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) Secretariatmade possible the successful completion of the course. Geological Survey of Pakistan provided a hosting facility. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the training course was held in a hybrid mode.
      Representatives from the ECO Member States, namely Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Pakistan (Host), and Uzbekistan, as well as international experts from Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) the USA, Cardiff University UK, Nepal, Ethiopia and Canada, participated in the course.
      In their opening remarks, Mr. Asad Ali Bhellar, Deputy SurveyorGeneral Survey of Pakistan, and Mr. RovshanMirzayev, Director of Energy, Minerals, and Environment of ECO Secretariat, expressed their mutual resolve that the subject course provides a platform to discuss the issues related to Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) being fundamentally a framework for sharing and exchange of spatial data between stakeholders from different jurisdictional levels.
      All the key speakers and participants underscored the need to focus on sharing and integrated management of geospatial information for sustainable development in the ECO region and the Member States. The course provided a networking opportunity for geospatial professionals of ECO countries for sharing their knowledge and experiences. Many useful presentations, brainstorming sessions, and interactive discussions were held regarding SDI implementation at the national and ECO level.
      The challenges and objectives for SDI implementation on national as well as regional levels in different countries were also discussed. It was revealed that ECO Member States such as Iran and Turkey are relatively advanced in NSDI development. It was emphasized that Iran and Turkey can contribute with their expertise to the rest of the ECO Member States for the implementation of their NSDIs. Setting up a coordination committee of National Mapping Organizations (NMOs) of ECO Member States at ECO Secretariatforpreparing a roadmap to enable sharing and exchange of geospatial information among the ECO Member States is recommended, too. Moreover, five working groups were suggested as well.
      In his closing remarks, Dr. Sajjad Ahmad the Director General Geological Survey of Pakistan thanked all the key speakers, participants, and the organizing committee for making the event a success. It was agreed to hold SDI-related courses to further enhance the capacities of Member States to exchange spatial knowledge, experiences, and the best practices in the ECOregion.
      All the workshop material can be retrieved from:
      https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1as4ZM1wamX4JkziMzKYLVyQbxBBA9DRO.


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