As part of the 37th Asia Pacific Advanced Network (APAN) Meeting in Bandung, Indonesia, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Office Jakarta arranged a MasterClass on “Network-enabled Collaboration on Water-Related Disasters and Water Security,” on 23 January 2014, through the CONNECT-Asia network. Said MasterClass is a pioneer venture of promoting collaborative actions through ICT networks in the adaption of advanced ways of flood mitigation and water security.
With the involvement in flood mitigation, the Department of Science Technology – Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), represented by Supervising Science Research Specialist Bayani Benjamin R. Lara, discussed and presented a topic relevant to Typhoon Haiyan and the advanced methods used in preventing adverse impacts of such catastrophes in the Philippines. “This kind of activity is beneficial because it provides information on how other countries manage flooding events in their community. They give us idea on how to improve what we have here in the Philippines,” said Sr. Science Research Specialist Joy Santiago of Project NOAH – Storm Surge Component.
Most of scientists, network engineers, students and policy makers concerned, participated remotely in the event through CONNECT-Asia network. With the assistance of PREGINET, the team of Project Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (NOAH) participated, as well. Ms. Santiago mentioned that
The MasterClass provided both in-person and remote participants, knowledge on the application of advanced methods in hydrology, use of spatial data in managing Thailand floods, use of geographic information system and remote sensing technologies in managing water-related disasters, tsunami early warning system, among others.remote participation is recommendable, as it eases information dissemination, and lessens the hassle and lowers the cost of travel. She added that the only challenge with this kind of setup is on how to ensure the participants’ attention and participation. Indubitably, remote participation through video interaction and web-based streaming have simplified information sharing and dissemination among various agencies in different parts of the world. However, reliable Internet connection is necessary to improve the audio and video quality.
Speakers of the event include Dr. Tariq Rana of Murray Darling River Basin Authority, Mr. Chris Elvidge of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Mr. Shahbaz Khan of UNESCO Office Jakarta, Mr. Veerachai Tanpipat of Thailand, Dr. Whayu Widodo Pandoe of Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology, and Mr. Lara of the DOST-ASTI.