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NASA’s SERVIR-Mekong project for Five Southeast Asian Countries

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have launched a new joint project named SERVIR-Mekong to strengthen regional environmental monitoring in five countries of Southeast Asia namely Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

About the Project:

It was launched in the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Bangkok, Thailand. Under this project, researchers will draw from a continuous stream of space-based climate, weather and other Earth observation data from Nasa and its partners. The main focus of this project is to host vital issues in the Mekong river basin region in those five countries which is also called as Rice Bowl of Asia.

About SERVIR:

  • SERVIR is a Spanish term that means to serve.
  • SERVIR was developed in coordination with the Group on Earth Observations, an alliance of more than 90 nations collaborating to build a global Earth-observing system to benefit society’s needs.
  • The SERVIR program helps governments and development stakeholders in incorporating Earth observations and geospatial technologies into natural disaster response to improve food security, safeguard human health and manage water and natural resources.
  • This program was initiated in 2005 by researchers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama which continues to house the SERVIR Coordination Office.
  • The first SERVIR hub was launched in 2005 in Panama City, Panama and served the Mesoamerican region and the Dominican Republic.
  • NASA, USAID and their partners operate SERVIR hubs in Nepal, serving the Hindu-Kush-Himalaya region, and in Kenya, serving Eastern and Southern Africa.

Significance:

The project will provide timely weather, climate and other Earth related data to those five countries in Southeast Asia, enabling them to better address issues such as water management, land use planning, disaster risk reduction, management of natural resources and support climate resilience studies including reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

This will also provide early warning of dramatic changes in regional water, weather, land cover and land use and climate and food security.