International Centre on the use of Space Technologies for Cultural and Natural heritage

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A dedicated Centre to assist UNESCO in providing technical assistance in space technologies

A new International Category-2 Centre(1) was established in July 2011 under the auspices of UNESCO and hosted by the Centre of Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE). CEODE is an outstanding institution of the Chinese Academy of Sciences that undertakes activities related to satellite data reception, satellite data processing and the Digital Earth initiative. Established in collaboration with UNESCO’s Natural Sciences Sector, this new International Centre will bring CEODE’s expertise and know-how to UNESCO’s Member States  in Asia.

The newly established International Centre aims to provide technical assistance in the field of space technologies to requesting Member States of UNESCO, such  as space technologies applied to the monitoring, documentation, modelling and presentation of cultural and natural heritage sites. Capacity building is the centre’s main goal. Recognizing that national heritage authorities must dedicate all of their efforts to protect heritage sites, the provision of ready-to-use results derived from space technologies comes as an added bonus.   

While UNESCO recognizes the tremendous efforts made by the national authorities with respect to their heritage, they do not always have access to modern scientific and technological tools that can significantly assist in the preservation of cultural and natural heritage. This is exactly what UNESCO activities on Space for Heritage aim to do: bridge the gap between national authorities and space institutions internationally. This International Centre allows UNESCO to  strengthen the scientific and technical assistance it can provide to its Member States.  

(1) The Institutes and Centres under the Auspices of UNESCO (Category 2) are not legally part of the Organization, but are associated with it through formal arrangements approved by the General Conference. They contribute to the achievement of UNESCO’s strategic programme objectives and sectoral or intersectoral programme priorities and themes.

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